Last updated on: 6/16/2016 | Author:

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein Biography

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Pro to the question "Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?"

“It is hard to find a rational justification that explains the ease with which people can buy firearms, including assault rifles, in spite of prior criminal backgrounds, drug use, histories of domestic violence and mental illness, or direct contact with extremists – both domestic and foreign. 

How many more mass killings of school-children, of co-workers, of African-American churchgoers — how many more individual shootings of talented musicians like Christina Grimmie, or politicians like Gabrielle Giffords, will it take before the United States adopts robust gun regulation? Why should any civilian anywhere be able to acquire an assault rifle or other high-powered weapons designed to kill lots of people? 

Irresponsible pro-gun propaganda suggests that firearms make society safer, when all evidence points to the contrary. The ready availability of guns leaves little space between murderous impulses and actions that result in death. The journey between hate-filled beliefs and violent hate crimes is accelerated. Society — in particular its most vulnerable communities and minorities who are already facing widespread prejudice — pay a high price for the failure to stand up to the lobbyists and take the necessary measures to protect people from gun violence.  Examples from many countries clearly show that a legal framework to control the acquisition and use of firearms has led to a dramatic reduction in violent crime.”

United Nations, “In Wake of Mass Shooting, UN Rights Chief Urges US to Consider Robust Gun Control,”, June 14, 2016

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, Sep. 1, 2014-present
  • Member, Advisory Committee, The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation
  • Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Jordan, 2000-2007 and 2010-present
  • Former President, United Nations Security Council
  • Former Member, Advisory Council for the 2011 World Development Report, World Bank
  • Chairman, Country-Specific Configuration, United Nations Peace Building Commission for Liberia, Sep. 16, 2010-Mar. 7, 2012
  • Ambassador to the United States and Mexico, Jordan, 2007-2010
  • Chairman, Working Group, Crimes of Aggression, Review Conference of the Rome Statute, International Criminal Court, June 2010
  • Former Chair, 1533 and 1521 Committees on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia, United Nations Security Council
  • Former Chair, Consultative Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
  • Adviser on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 2004
  • President, Assembly of State Parties, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 2002-2005
  • Chairman, Informal Negotiations, Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, International Criminal Court, 199-2000
  • Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Jordan, 1996-2000
  • Political Affairs Officer, United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), Yugoslavia, 1994-1996
  • PhD, Cambridge University, 1993
  • BA, Johns Hopkins University, 1987
  • Officer, Jordanian Desert Police, 1989-1994
  • Born in 1964 in Amman, Jordan to Prince Ra’ad bin Zeid, Lord Chamberlin of Jordan, and Majda Raad (formerly Margaretha Inga Elisabeth Lind), who was born in Sweden
  • Married to Sarah Butler, Princess Sarah Zeid, from Houston, TX
  • Title is Prince and he is of the House of Hashim
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted in the United States?