Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a prominent French human rights advocate as the United Nations new independent expert on human rights in Haiti, a UN spokesman announced this morning.
Louis Joinet, a judge and legal adviser to the French Prime Minister, will take on the role of independent expert vacated in March last year by Adama Dieng of Senegal, the spokesman said. The appointment follows a decision to continue the role of independent expert, taken by the UN Commission on Human Rights at its 2001 session. The independent expert provides reports on the situation in Haiti to that body.
Mr. Joinet has previously served on UN human rights bodies working on the promotion and protection of the human rights, and on arbitrary detention.
Responding to the appointment, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, issued a statement today warmly congratulating Mr. Joinet and expressing conviction that he would make “an important contribution to the cause of human rights in Haiti.”