On Thursday, 24 June, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of South African Judge Navanethem Pillay as the new UN high commissioner for human rights. The appointment is subject to approval by the General Assembly which will meet on Monday. Ms. Pillay, currently a judge on the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court, became the first woman appointed to the High Court of South Africa.

In 1995 she joined the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), where she served for eight years, including four years as president. During that period she played a leading role in landmark decisions defining rape as an institutionalized weapon of war and establishing mass rape as a crime of genocide. She has published on international criminal and humanitarian law, and more particularly on crimes of sexual violence in conflicts.

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