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Human Rights Council Elects Omar Zniber of Morocco to serve as its President for 2024


10 January 2024

GENEVA (10 January 2024) – The Human Rights Council today elected Ambassador Omar Zniber, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations Office at Geneva, to serve as its President for 2024.

Ambassador Zniber was elected in a secret ballot process in which all 47 members of the Geneva-based human rights body cast their vote to appoint its president for 2024 – the Council’s 18th annual cycle.

“It is an honour for both the Kingdom of Morocco and for me personally to have been elected as head of this august Council for its 18th cycle – a position belonging to Africa,” Ambassador Zniber told the Council after being elected. He said he now had a duty to work to “meet the requirements of our common work" which are "so important and so fundamental: the promotion of, respect toward and guarantee of human rights as universally recognized.”

Ambassador Zniber, whose presidency takes immediate effect, joins Ambassador Febrian Ruddyard of Indonesia; Ambassador Darius Staniulis of Lithuania; Ambassador Marcelo Eliseo Scappini Ricciard of Paraguay and Ambassador Heidi Schroderus-Fox of Finland, who were elected on 8 December 2023 as Council vice-presidents, to serve on the Council Bureau for the current year.

The other candidate for the position of President of the Human Rights Council, coming from the Africa Group of States, was Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, Permanent Representative of South Africa. Per the rule of procedure, the candidate who received the largest number of votes and a majority of the members present and voting was declared elected as President of the Human Rights Council.

The results of the secret ballot were as follows:

Ambassador Zniber     30 VOTES
Ambassador Nkosi      17 VOTES

Omar Zniber has been serving as the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations Office at Geneva since 2018. Prior to his appointment to Geneva, Mr. Zniber had been serving as Morocco’s Ambassador to Germany since January 2012. Before that, he was Morocco’s Ambassador to Slovenia with residence in Vienna since January 2004; Ambassador to Slovakia with residence in Vienna since August 2003; and Ambassador to Austria since April 2003. He became accredited as Permanent Representative of Morocco to the international organizations in Vienna in June 2003.

A career diplomat, Mr. Zniber served as a Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Morocco to the United Nations Office at Geneva from 1989 to 1996. He also served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morrocco as Chief of the United Nations Division from 1996 to 1999 and as Director of the United Nations and International Organizations Directorate from 1999 to 2003. Mr. Zniber holds a Ph.D. in international public law from Université Paris II Panthéon Assas, France (1986).


Human Rights Council Media and Communications Team
Pascal Sim, Media Officer, [email protected]: David Díaz Martín, Public Information Officer, [email protected]: Matthew Brown, Public Information Officer, [email protected]