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UN to tap Jordan's envoy as new human rights chief

UNITED NATIONS--The U.N. secretary-general said Friday he will appoint Jordan's ambassador as the new high commissioner for human rights, bringing a voice from the Middle East to that post when such rights are under strain in several countries there.

Ban Ki-moon's office announced that Prince Zeid al Hussein, a longtime diplomat and former U.N. peacekeeper, has been nominated to replace Navi Pillay.

Pillay has been a forceful spokeswoman, most recently this week when she was the most prominent U.N. official to speak out on the 25th anniversary of China's crushing of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, in which hundreds were killed. Ban made no comment this week on the Tiananmen crackdown.

The South African-born Pillay's term as high commissioner for human rights was extended in 2012 for two years.

The nomination for her successor requires approval by the General Assembly, which is expected.

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