United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Under-Secretary-General level

Date: 
Monday, 11 June 2018

The Secretariat of the United Nations presents its compliments to the Permanent Missions to the United Nations and has the honour to request the nomination of candidates for the position of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Under-Secretary-General level.

            The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) represents the world's commitment to the universal ideals of human dignity.  With its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, OHCHR has a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights.  The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is accountable to the Secretary-General and is responsible for all the activities of OHCHR, as well as for its administration.  The High Commissioner:

  • Carries out the functions specifically assigned to him or her by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993 and subsequent resolutions of policy-making bodies;

  • Advises the Secretary-General on the policies of the United Nations in the area of human rights;

  • Ensures that substantive and administrative support is given to the projects, activities, organs and bodies of the human rights programme;

  • Represents the Secretary-General at meetings of human rights organs and at other human rights events; and carries out special assignments as decided by the Secretary-General.

            Further information on OHCHR is available in the Secretary-General’s Bulletin ST/SGB/1997/10 and on the following website:  http://www.ohchr.org/

                In accordance with General Assembly resolution 48/141, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and approved by the General Assembly, with due regard to geographical rotation for a fixed term of four years with a possibility of one renewal for another fixed term of four years.

                In order to ensure a wide pool of candidates for this position, the Secretariat would welcome any nominations to supplement the Secretary-General’s own search and consultations.  The nomination of women candidates is strongly encouraged.

                All nominations should include the curriculum vitae of the candidate with full contact information (e-mail and telephone) and must be sent to the Secretariat of the United Nations by 11 July 2018.  Nominations may also be sent to eosg2018ohchr@un.org

                The Secretary-General is seeking an individual with:

  • Demonstrated extensive knowledge of human rights issues and challenges derived from experience of leadership in an academic, governmental, inter-governmental and/or non-governmental setting;

  • Ability to be a powerful and convincing advocate on all aspects of human rights worldwide within the United Nations system, including charter- and treaty-based human rights bodies, and with Governments, national institutions and civil society organizations, as well as the wider public;

  • Demonstrated leadership experience with strategic vision and proven skills in leading transformation in, and managing complex organizations, such as intergovernmental, international non-governmental or multinational private sector entities;

  • Proven track record of change management in complex organizations and accomplishments at the regional, national or international level with strong resource mobilization, political and diplomatic skills;

  • Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural team and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization;

  • Proven ability to inspire, encourage, build trust and confidence and also build consensus, stimulate effective campaigns and drive collective action among a broad spectrum of people and organizations;

  • High commitment to the values and guiding principles of the United Nations and familiarity with the United Nations system, including peacekeeping, human rights, humanitarian and development settings and challenges.

    Human rights screening

                In accordance with the policy for the nomination of candidates, the Secretariat wishes to outline that it is the responsibility of the nominating Government to ensure that each candidate it nominates has not been convicted of, or is not currently under investigation or being prosecuted for, any criminal offence, or any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.  In the case of nominees who have been investigated for, charged with or prosecuted for any criminal offence but were not convicted, the nominating Government is requested to provide information regarding the investigation(s) or prosecutions concerned.  The nominating Government is also requested to certify that it is not aware of any allegations against its nominated candidates that they have been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any acts that amount to violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

                Individuals who are either nominated by Member States or who seek to serve with the United Nations in any individual capacity will be required, if short-listed, to complete a self-attestation stating that they have not committed, been convicted of, nor prosecuted for, any criminal offence and have not been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

    Conflicts of interest

                Short-listed individuals will also be required to complete the pre-appointment declaration of interests for senior positions to identify possible conflicts of interest that may arise and to proactively prevent and manage, as much as possible and in a timely manner, situations in which personal interests may conflict or appear to conflict with the interests of the United Nations, should the individual be appointed to this position.

                           The Secretariat of the United Nations avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Permanent Missions of Member States to the United Nations the assurances of its highest consideration.