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Newsline: UN chief taps Austrian diplomat as next rights chief

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has tapped the Austrian diplomat Volker Turk to be the next High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to a document sent Thursday to the General Assembly, which must approve the choice. The UN veteran would replace Michelle Bachelet, the former Chilean president who was appointed four years ago with the specific intent of having a powerful female politician in the role. “The secretary-general proposes to appoint Mr. Volker Turk (Austria) as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Guterres wrote, in a letter seen by AFP. “The secretary-general trusts that the General Assembly will approve this appointment.” (https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/world/un-chief-taps-volker-turk-as-next-rights-chief/ar-AA11BxmQ) Multiple sources said that Guterres had notified UN member states late on Wednesday that he wants Turk, who is currently serving as assistant secretary general for policy, in the challenging role. The General Assembly was expected to address the matter during a meeting later on Thursday or Friday, diplomatic sources said. The 57-year-old Turk has spent most of his career within the UN system, with a particular focus on refugee questions. He worked closely with Guterres back when the latter headed the UN refugee agency. Turk represented UNHCR in Malaysia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina before being assigned to the headquarters.

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