UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid tribute to Asma Jahangir , a leading Pakistani lawyer and a UN human rights special rapporteur, as a “true champion of human rights”, in his address to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.

“As a Special Rapporteur of this Council, as a great citizen of Pakistan, and as a towering representative of the force of civil society, she devoted her life to the pursuit of the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ,” Guterres said.

“She also stood for the rights of women, reminding us again that women rights are human rights ,” the secretary-general added.

Guterres also paid high tributes to the courage shown by the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Jordan’s Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, who is stepping down after one term in office.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the work of the High Commissioner and to thank him for his service to the United Nations and the cause of human rights ,” he said.

“High Commissioner Zeid has shown tremendous courage in highlighting human rights concerns in all regions.And he has shown equal dedication in working with governments to resolve those concerns,” the UN chief said.

“The world counts on the High Commissioner, his office, and this Council to expose human rights violations wherever they occur and to press for change.”