Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein

Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein Permanent Representative of the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations
Prince Zeid is Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a post
he held previously for six and a half years from 2000-2007. From 2007-2010 he
was Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States of America. He also served as
Jordan’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN, with the rank of
Ambassador, from 1996-2000.
Knowledgeable in matters of international justice, Prince Zeid has played a
central role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. He chaired,
for example, over the course of two years, the complex, often pioneering,
negotiations on the ‘elements’ of the individual offenses falling under the crimes
of: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes. Courts around the
world now cite the definitions for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’, refined by the
‘elements’, as ‘authoritative’.
In September 2002, Prince Zeid was also elected the first president of the
governing body of the International Criminal Court, at a time when the Court was
only a plan on paper, with no officials or even an address to its name and, in
three years, oversaw the Court’s growth to the point where it became a
functioning institution.
He has also been active on other legal issues. He was the first of two UN
ambassadors to chair the Ad Hoc Committee on the Scope of Legal Protection
under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel.
And in the spring of 2004, he was chosen to be chairman of the ‘Panel of Experts
for the UN Secretary-General’s Trust Fund to Assist States in the Settlement of
Disputes through the International Court of Justice’, in the matter relating to the
boundary dispute between Benin and Niger.
Earlier in 2004, he was appointed by his government as Jordan’s representative,
and head of delegation, before the International Court of Justice in the matter
relating to the wall being built by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
He represented Jordan again, in the same capacity, before the International
Court of Justice in December 2009 in the advisory proceedings relating to
Kosovo's declaration of independence.
In early 2009, Prince Zeid was asked by the President of the Assembly of States
Parties to the International Criminal Court to chair the closing stages of the
negotiations to the “Crime of Aggression” -- identified by the International Military
Tribunal at Nuremburg as the "supreme international crime" – specifically with
1 respect to its definition and the conditions for the Court’s exercise of jurisdiction
over it, all necessary for the crime to become operational under the Rome
Statute. Under the President’s leadership and guidance, those negotiations were
brought to a successful conclusion and by consensus in Kampala, Uganda, in
June 2010.
Most recently, from March through to October 2011, Prince Zeid coordinated the
search committee for the selection of the next prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court.
And also from 16 September 2010 to 7 March 2012 he was the Chairman of the
“Country-Specific Configuration for Liberia” -- the committee within the framework
of the UN Peace Building Commission responsible for overseeing the transition
from peacekeeping to the consolidation of peace in Liberia. The Commission
was responding to a formal request for assistance presented earlier in 2010 by
the Liberian Government in respect of: its judiciary; its police (and other security
related services) and on matters relating to national reconciliation.
Prince Zeid currently represents Jordan as its “Sherpa” on Nuclear Security, -following the Washington Summit on Nuclear Security, which convened in April
2010. In this capacity, he is spearheading the work on counter nuclearsmuggling teams within the context of the summit.
Prince Zeid served as a political affairs officer in UNPROFOR in the former
Yugoslavia from February 1994 to February 1996, and, having worked intimately
with peacekeeping issues for over the last eighteen years, his knowledge of
peacekeeping is extensive.
Following allegations of widespread abuse being committed by UN
peacekeepers in the summer of 2004, he was appointed by Kofi Annan as
‘Advisor to the Secretary-General on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.’ In the
spring of 2005, he produced a report on this subject; cited subsequently by
international civil society for having been ‘revolutionary’ in its approach. It
provided, for the first time, a comprehensive strategy for the elimination of Sexual
Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Operations. The report was
endorsed in full, by the 191 Heads of State and Government, in September
Prince Zeid also chaired the Consultative Committee for the United Nations
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and led an effort to establish greater
strategic direction for the Fund (2004-2007).
2 Prince Zeid holds a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from
Cambridge University (Christ’s College). On 14 June 2008, Prince Zeid was
presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the Southern California
Institute of Law. In 1989, he also received his commission as an officer in the
Jordanian desert police (the successor to the Arab Legion) and saw service with
them until 1994.
Prince Zeid delivered the Grotius Lecture at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the
American Society of International Law (April 2008) entitled: ‘For Love of Country
and International Criminal Law.’
His publications include: ‘A Nightmare Avoided: Jordan and Suez 1956’ in Israel
Affairs (Winter 1994), and ‘Religious Militancy in the Arab Middle East: Threats
and Responses 1979-1988’ in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs
(Spring 1989).
Prince Zeid is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Institute for Historical
Justice and Reconciliation. He further serves on the international advisory
councils of the International Peace Institute and the Security Council Report. He
was also a member of the World Bank's Advisory Council for the World
Development Report 2011.
He is married to Princess Sarah Zeid, and they have a son and two daughters. 3