Avaaz Posts Ad for UN Human Rights Commissioner

Avaaz posts global ad for new UN Human Rights Commissioner 
New site launched to track candidates and selection process
By the Avaaz team

NEW YORK (rushprnews) 6/6/08 –- Avaaz, the world’s largest international online advocacy network, today posted a worldwide job recruitment advertisement for the United Nations’ next High Commissioner for Human Rights, in an attempt to inject greater public scrutiny into the selection process.

This week’s ‘The Economist’ will feature the ad in its Executive Focus section, as well as an invitation to participate in a more rigorous public debate on the website: http://www.avaaz.org/en/human_rights_commissioner/ (also www.humanrightscommissioner.org). The site will name the current list of candidates.

The decision comes as the UN holds private interviews for the post, aimed at producing a single candidate for rubber stamp approval by the UN General Assembly.

“The UN needs outstanding leaders of great personal integrity and high stature at the helm. Such leadership rarely emerges when appointments are decided in back-room deals where powerful nations veto anyone who has opposed their policies in the past” said Ricken Patel, Executive Director of Avaaz.

“There needs to be far more transparency and public input into these top appointments, so that a successful candidate, as well as vetoes of potential candidates, must stand the test of public scrutiny.”

“This ad and web campaign is an effort to show the UN and its most powerful member states an alternative for how they could be going about this process.”

The new site http://www.avaaz.org/en/human_rights_commissioner/ (also www.humanrightscommissioner.org) will feature news on the candidates and the process, and invites anyone to contribute.

To book interviews or for more information contact: Mark Turner (Avaaz), Cell +1 646 249 2567 / +1 888 YA AVAAZ (+1 888 922 8229), or email media@avaaz.org

About Avaaz

Avaaz, meaning “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages, was launched in January 2007 with a mission to harness new technologies to help ensure that the views and values of the world’s peoples better shape global decision-making. It has since grown to more than 3 million members from every country on earth.

The Economist wrote last year of Avaaz’s power to “give the world leaders a deafening wake-up call”, while the Indian Express heralded “the biggest web campaigner across the world, rooting for crucial global issues.” David Miliband, the UK foreign secretary who asked Avaaz to co-host his first major speech, calls the organization “the best of the new in foreign policy.”

In the days following the Burmese cyclone, while governments and aid organisations waited for the junta to let them in, Avaaz members raised over $2 million in emergency funds, channeled immediately to the monks and other relief networks already operating inside Burma.


Avaaz recently delivered a petition with more that 300,000 signatures to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Rome Food Crisis summit.

It played a role in mobilising citizens worldwide to call on their governments to ban cluster bombs in a landmark meeting in Dublin. Avaaz’ ‘Stop the Clash of Civilizations’ video recently won the YouTube political video of the year award, gaining more votes than other videos centered on the US Presidential race. www.youtube.com/ytawards07winners

To book interviews or for more information contact: Mark Turner (Avaaz), Cell +1 646 249 2567 / +1 888 YA AVAAZ (+1 888 922 8229), or email media@avaaz.org

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