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UN General Assembly Approves Chile's Bachelet As UN Rights Chief

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet (file photo)

The United Nations General Assembly has approved the appointment of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as the world body's new human rights chief.

The decision was taken by consensus in the 193-nation assembly after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put forward Bachelet to be the next UN high commissioner for human rights on August 8.

Guterres said on Twitter he was "delighted" that his pick had been approved.

"Ms. Bachelet is a pioneer, a visionary, a woman of principle, and a great human rights leader for these troubled times," Guterres tweeted on August 10.

In a video posted on Twitter, Bachelet said she was "deeply humbled and honored" by the appointment and pledged to bring "all of my energy and convictions" to the job.

Bachelet, a single mother of three, will replace Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, a Jordanian diplomat and member of the country's royal family, who is stepping down at the end of the month after a four-year term.

Bachelet, who was tortured under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, was the first woman to become president of Chile.

She served for two terms as Chile's president, from 2006-10 and 2014-18. She led UN Women, which supports gender equality and the empowerment of women, between 2010 and 2013.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa