United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Ivan Šimonović of Croatia as his Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.
Mr. Šimonović is currently Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York. He intends to pursue a career in academia while taking up this assignment on 1 October 2016, the Secretary-General said in a statement.
“In his role as the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, Mr. Šimonović will work under the overall guidance of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide to further the political, institutional and operational development of the responsibility to protect principle, as set out by the General Assembly in paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome document,” the statement said.
Mr. Šimonović succeeds Jennifer Welsh of Canada. In the statement, the Secretary-General said he is “deeply grateful for her exceptional leadership and advice on the development and implementation of the responsibility to protect.”
Before joining the UN in 2010, Mr. Šimonović held the position of Minister of Justice of Croatia. He was previously Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, where he served as President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Mr. Šimonović worked as a professor in the faculty of law at the University of Zagreb, where he served as Head of the Legal Theory Department, Vice-Dean and Vice-Rector for international cooperation.
In an expert capacity, he has been a member of the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission) and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, as well as the Agent of the Republic of Croatia before the UN International Court of Justice. He also served as the President of the Croatian United Nations Association.
Mr. Šimonović has a graduate degree in law, a master’s degree in public administration and politics, and a Ph.D. from the University of Zagreb.