UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visited Almaty


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visited AlmatyToday the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay has arrived in Kazakhstan for a two-day working visit, the UN mission in Kazakhstan informs.

N. Pillay met with the Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs in Almaty, before flying to the capital Astana. In Astana, she is scheduled to meet the Deputy Prime Minister, ministers of foreign affairs, internal affairs and justice, Chairman of the Constitutional Council, Prosecutor-General, Ombudsman and other government officials.

The UN High Commissioner will discuss a wide range of issues including Zhanaozen situation, rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, assess to justice and many others.

The UN former High Commissioner for Human Right Louise Arbour visited Kazakhstan in 2007.

The appointment of Navanethem Pillay as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was approved by the General Assembly on 28 July 2008. She took up the post on 1 September 2008. Her mandate has been renewed for two years beginning on 1 September 2012.

She also worked as a lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and later was appointed Vice-President of the Council of the University of Durban Westville. In 1995, after the end of apartheid, Ms. Pillay was appointed a judge on the South African High Court, and in the same year was chosen to be a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where she served a total of eight years, the last four (1999-2003) as President. She played a critical role in the ICTR’s groundbreaking jurisprudence on rape as genocide, as well as on issues of freedom of speech and hate propaganda. In 2003, she was appointed as a judge on the International Criminal Court in the Hague, where she remained until August 2008.

In South Africa, as a member of the Women’s National Coalition, she contributed to the inclusion of an equality clause in the country’s Constitution that prohibits discrimination on grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation. She co-founded Equality Now, an international women’s rights organization, and has been involved with other organizations working on issues relating to children, detainees, victims of torture and of domestic violence, and a range of economic, social and cultural rights.

Ms. Pillay received a BA and a LLB from Natal University South Africa. She also holds a Master of Law and a Doctorate of Juridical Science from Harvard University. She was born in 1941, and has two daughters.