(File image) United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

New York - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday that he has asked UN human rights chief Navi Pillay to stay on for an extra two years.

Pillay's four-year term as head of the UN human rights monitoring operation ends this year.

Ban's office said he had proposed that the 193-member UN General Assembly vote on an extension for the former South African judge.

“The secretary general is pleased that he was able to prevail on Ms Pillay, subject to General Assembly approval, to stay on as high commissioner for human rights for two more years,” said a statement released by Ban's office.

Ban “trusts the General Assembly will approve this extension”.

Pillay has taken a leading role in speaking out on the need to protect civilians in Libya, Syria and other Arab countries experiencing uprisings in recent months. - Sapa-AFP