New UN human rights chief delighted with assignment

The new national director of the UN human rights body in Cambodia said she was delighted to work in the land of beauty with ancient temples and ancient culture.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Roueida El Hage has extensive experience in dealing with human rights issues and has held positions all over the world.

“I have worked in many countries around the world and have many years of experience in the field of human rights. I am happy and excited to continue the work of this office in the defense of human rights,” she said.

El Hage said she will work with the government, as well as civil society actors, in particular to help protect vulnerable groups in the country, such as women, children, people with disabilities and indigenous peoples. .

As Cambodia heads towards communal council elections next month and national elections in 2023, El Hage said she looks forward to working with all to protect and promote human rights for all in Cambodia.

Government Spokesman Phay Siphan welcomed El Hage and said Cambodia wants to work with all partners for a good human rights environment, but everything should be in accordance with the law.

“We always welcome each other and we always want to work together and never want to point fingers at each other. We are committed to creating an atmosphere of respect for human rights, but all must comply with the law,” he said. he declares.

Cambodia has done a lot in the area of ​​human rights, starting with judicial reforms and freedom of expression, he said.

El Hage has over 23 years of experience in the field of human rights, including 18 years with OHCHR, and has extensive knowledge of international law and political affairs with the United Nations, particularly in conflict contexts. in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Asia and Africa.

El Hage served in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Philippines and Western Sahara.

Prior to this appointment, she served as Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Panel of Eminent Experts on Yemen, Deputy Director of the Human Rights Component (UNAMI) in Iraq and Head of the Regional Human Rights Office of the UN Mission. United Nations assistance for Iraq in northern Iraq. and Acting Chief of the MENA Section at OHCHR in Geneva. El Hage is fluent in Arabic, English and French.

  • Keywords: human rights, OHCHR