Renowned international rights group Amnesty International has chosen South African civil society leader, anti-apartheid campaigner and life-long activist Kumi Naidoo as the organisation’s next Secretary General.
The 52 year old activist whose term begins in August 2018 will succeed Salil Shetty, an Indian activist, who has served two terms since 2010.
“We are delighted to be welcoming Kumi as our new Secretary General. His vision and passion for a just and peaceful world make him an outstanding leader for our global movement, as we strengthen our resolve for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all,” said Mwikali Muthiani, Chair of the Board of Amnesty International.
I have been an activist and campaigner all my life, so I am excited to be joining the world’s largest people movement for human rights at a time when we need to counter increasing attacks on basic freedoms and on civil society around the globe. This means adapting to a fluid fast-changing global environment with urge
The Secretary General is the leader and main spokesperson for Amnesty International and the Chief Executive of its International Secretariat.
Amnesty International is the largest human rights movement globally, with a global presence including offices in more than 70 countries, 2,600 staff and seven million members, volunteers and supporters worldwide.
Naidoo who has previously served as Executive Director of Greenpeace International and chair of the Global Call for Climate Action, has also been running three start up organisations in South Africa.
The law graduate (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal) is delighted for the opportunity to ‘uphold human rights’ ina na increasingly repressive world.
“I have been an activist and campaigner all my life, so I am excited to be joining the world’s largest people movement for human rights at a time when we need to counter increasing attacks on basic freedoms and on civil society around the globe. This means adapting to a fluid fast-changing global environment with urgency, passion and with courage,” said Naidoo.
Some of the most recent Amnesty International work in Africa includes the ‘Not Time To Go Home’ report that documents the plight of Somali refugees returning to their countries after being ‘pressurised’ to leave the Dadaab camp in Kenya.
‘Somali refugees are not being influenced to go home’ – U.N https://t.co/KXQCboAMCV— africanews (@africanews) December 20, 2017
“Amnesty International’s campaigns for justice and equality today are more urgent than ever, and I am humbled and honored to be leading the organisation in these challenging times.”
The Secretary General is appointed by the International Board of Amnesty International for an initial four year term. The appointment followed an extensive global search.