Born in Linz, Türk received a Master of Laws from the University of Linz and a doctorate in international law from the University of Vienna, Austria. His doctoral dissertation at the University of Vienna was on the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and its mandate and was published by Duncker & Humblot, Berlin in 1992.
In 1991, Türk became a Junior Professional Officer at the UN and had a temporary assignment in Kuwait funded by the Austrian Foreign Ministry. He then held various posts with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in different regions of the world, including Malaysia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He later became the Director of the Division of International Legal Protection at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. In February 2015, he was appointed Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, making him the highest-ranking Austrian UN official.
On 18 April 2019, Türk was appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres to succeed Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General at the UN Secretariat.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2022–present edit
On 8 September 2022, following the favourable vote of the General Assembly, Türk was selected to succeed Michelle Bachelet of Chile as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; at the time, the other candidates included Federico Villegas and Adama Dieng. He assumed office on 17 October 2022.
On 17 April 2023, Türk called on Russian authorities to free the longtime Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza who has been sentenced to a 25-year prison sentence on charges including treason. The sentence is ″another blow to the rule of law and civic space in the Russian Federation″, said Türk.
Personal life edit
Türk lives in Geneva.
- Erika Feller, Volker Türk, Frances Nicholson (eds.): Refugee Protection in International Law. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2003, ISBN 0-521-53281-7.
- Heidi Riepl (14 February 2015). "Volker Türk: From Linz to the Top of the UN". Oberösterreichische Nachrichten. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016.
- "Volker Türk United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights". ohchr.org. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
- "OHCHR | Volker Türk". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Archived from the original on 27 November 2022. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
- Nicholson, Frances; Twomey, Patrick (1999). "Refugee Rights and Realities" (pdf; 319 kB). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp. XII. ISBN 0-521-63282-X.
- "University of Graz honours UNHCR efforts". Tiroler Tageszeitung. 10 May 2016.
- "Volker Türk: Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG)". un.org.
- "Mr. Volker Türk of Austria - Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General". un.org. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
- "Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday appointed Volker Türk of Austria as the next United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, following approval by the General Assembly". UN News. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
- "Successor to Bachelet - UN appoints new Commissioner for Human Rights". srf.ch. 9 September 2022.
- Emma Farge (8 September 2022), Austria's Turk appointed U.N. human rights chief Reuters.
- Türk, Volker. "Comment by UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk on sentencing of Vladimir Kara-Murza in Russia". United Nations. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
- "University of Graz awards human rights award". orf.at. 13 May 2016.