UN: Appointment of new High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed

'I have no doubt that Mr Vieira de Mello will bring great vigour and vision to this post,' said Irene Khan, Amnesty International's Secretary General, as she offered him the support and cooperation of the organisation.

Amnesty International believes that Mr Vieira de Mello's strategic leadership will be critical at a time when the promotion and protection of human rights have come under unprecedented pressure in the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September and in the context of globalisation.

'The High Commissioner's primary role is to be a strong and forceful advocate for human rights, putting the interests of human rights victims clearly and unequivocally above the political and security concerns of states,' stated Ms Khan.

'We expect the High Commissioner to be a champion of human rights who is prepared to speak out with courage and act with resolve against violations, no matter how powerful the perpetrator.'

Amnesty International called on Mr Vieira de Mello to lead the campaign for the protection of human rights with vision and courage, and to put respect for human rights at the heart of the UN's response to global crises.

For more information please see 'United Nations: Mary Robinson's departure a loss for human rights'

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