UNITED NATIONS – Chilean former President Michelle Bachelet took office as the new UN high commissioner for human rights on Wednesday.
Bachelet was appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to take the place of Jordan’s Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who began his term in 2014.
The former president – who was ratified by the UN member states on Aug. 10 – officially took office on Sept. 1 and is set to serve as UN human rights chief for four years.
Bachelet, who was herself a victim of torture during the 1973-1990 Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, is the seventh person to take the position since its creation in 1993.
Before Zeid, the position had been occupied by Ecuador’s Jose Ayala-Lasso; Irish former President Mary Robinson; Sergio Vieira de Mello of Brazil; Canada’s Louise Arbour; and Navi Pillay of South Africa.
With the position, Bachelet returns to the United Nations, where she was the first director of UN Women between 2010 and 2013.
In addition to Bachelet, Shireen Lillian Dodson was appointed as the new ombudsman of the United Nations, with which women outnumber men by 24-22 in the top positions, according to spokesman Stephane Dujarric.