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High Commissioner

A High Commissioner is an executive serving a committee in a special capacity, or a diplomat at ambasadorial level between states in the Commonwealth of Nations.

In modern usage, the term specifically refers to a High Commissioner of the United Nations serving a commission composed of representatives of various nations. For instance, the U. N. High Commissioner for Human Rights serves the United Nations Human Rights Commission which is chaired by Syria.

The High Commissioner is also often the title of the person serving as ambassador between two nations within the Commonwealth, and the two nations are represented by an high commission rather than an embassy. This difference reflects the constitutional development of the former members of the British Empire. In the 19th century, Britain played an active role in the administration though the Governor General. It was only in the early 20th century that the members of the British Empire developed autonomy in foreign policy, and this resulted some of the powers of the Governor General being split off into a High Commissioner.

See also United Nations and Secretary General[?].

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