UN human rights chief says no progress in human rights despite efforts

By Isabel Saco

Geneva, Aug 25 (EFE).- United Nations high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said that the global situation of human rights has not improved, with the coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the lack of political will being the major issues.

“Sometimes you feel that the world is not getting better,” Bachelet said in a press conference in Geneva a week before the end of her four-year term in office.

“The journey to defend human rights never ends,” she added.

Bachelet explained that she is a person who seeks results, saying that if someone was about to be executed, she would pick up the phone and call the country’s president directly instead of making public statements.

The pandemic was another major obstacle for the former president of Chile to do what she had planned.

It interrupted her field visits and her contacts with authorities and victims during the most acute phase of the contagion.

Bachelet, who plans to return to Chile in October, pointed out that she has always been interested in everything that happens in her country, including the periods she has lived abroad.

The UN human rights chief’s position is one of the most sensitive in the organization and more susceptible to external pressure, due to the delicate issues involved.

Bachelet’s successor will be nominated by the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, and must be approved by the General Assembly.

Bachelet said she has heard that some 50 people have applied for her position, which has been held by more women than men since the UN body was created in 1994, and revealed – without mentioning names – that some have contacted her for advice.EFE


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