UN rights chief confirms plans to step down in June
UN rights chief confirms plans to step down in June

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] told members of her staff Wednesday that she will not seek a second term [JURIST report] when her four-year commission ends on June 30, confirming a Monday report [text] by the Washington Post. Arbour reportedly did not specify a reason for her decision, but said she plans to make it official in an address to the UN Human Rights Council [official website; JURIST news archive] on Friday. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] has already accepted Arbour's decision not to seek an additional four-year appointment. Reuters has more.

Arbour was appointed [JURIST report] to her position in 2004 after five years as a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. She succeeded Sergio Vieira de Mello [BBC obituary], who was killed in a 2003 suicide bomb attack on UN offices in Baghdad. Arbour served as chief war crimes prosecutor for the UN in the late 1990s.