19 September 2006

Secretary-General Appoints Kyung-Wha Kang of Republic of Korea Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights

NEW YORK, 18 September (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced the appointment of Kyung-wha Kang (Republic of Korea) as Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights.  The appointment is at the Assistant Secretary-General level.

Ms. Kang is currently Director-General of International Organization at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, with a portfolio that covers a wide range of UN issues, including human rights.   She served as Minister at the Republic of Korea Mission to the United Nations from September 2001 to July 2005.   She chaired the Commission on the Status of Women for its forty-eighth and forty-ninth session in March 2005, which marked the tenth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and reaffirmed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for women's advancement and gender equality.

Before joining the Foreign Service in 1998, Ms. Kang worked for the National Parliament of the Republic of Korea, assisting the Speaker of the National Assembly on global issues in the fields of human rights, women's advancement and parliamentary diplomacy.  During that time, she was also active in women's organizations in Korea, serving as the spokeswoman of the Korean Women's NGO Committee at the Beijing Conference in 1995.  Earlier in her career, she worked for the news bureau and the international radio bureau of the Korean Broadcasting System, and lectured in universities both in Korea and the United States.

Ms. Kang received MA and PhD degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the United States.  Her doctorate work was in the field of international/intercultural communication.  She is married to Yillbyung Lee of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.  They have two daughters and one son.

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