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Newly appointed Independent Expert on extreme poverty, to assume her functions on 1 May

30 April 2008

The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed a new Independent Expert on extreme poverty during its 7th session held in March 2008. Ms. Magdalena Sepulveda, a Chilean national, will assume her role as of 1 May 2008.

Ms. Sepulveda will be presenting the annual report of her predecessor to the Human Rights Council during its 8th session in June. During this session, the mandate will also be reviewed by the 47 member-state body in the hope of being renewed for a further three years.

Ms. Sepulveda is a Chilean lawyer working as a Research Director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy. She holds a Ph.D in International Human Rights Law from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and an LL.M in human rights law from University of Essex, UK. She lectures at several universities in Latin America and has provided technical assistance and training on human rights to NGOs, IGOs and governments. Ms. Sepulveda has worked as a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, as a staff attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as the Co-Director of the Department of International Law and Human Rights of the United Nations affiliated University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica. She also served as a consultant to the Department of International Protection of UNHCR and more recently to the Norwegian Refugee Council in Colombia.

Ms. Sepulveda succeeds Dr. Arjun Sengupta (India) who served as the mandate-holder since 2004. The mandate was first established by the Commission on Human Rights in 1998.

For more information about the mandate of the Independent Expert on extreme poverty, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/poverty/index.htm