GENEVA (3 May 2010) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Monday announced the appointment by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of Ivan Šimonovic as Assistant Secretary-General to head the High Commissioner’s New York office. He is the first person to hold the new post, which was approved by the UN General Assembly in December 2009.
Mr. Šimonovic has extensive experience in the fields of international development, human rights, peace building and development of national institutions, which he has addressed at the political and academic levels.
Mr. Šimonovic has been Minister of Justice of the Republic of Croatia since 2008, after previously serving as Assistant Minister and Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York for six years, and served as the Senior Vice-President and President of ECOSOC from 2001 to 2003. Throughout his twenty-year career, he has actively engaged in various human-rights-related activities both as a legal expert as well as a diplomat.
A Croatian national, Mr. Šimonovic was born in 1959. He is married with two children.