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Michelle Bachelet, appointed as seventh United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
© United Nations/Jean-Marc Ferre

United Nations: Michelle Bachelet calls for urgent action to heighten resilience and protect people's rights.

During the 45th regular session of the Human Rights Council, Michelle Bachelet - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - made her global human rights update, highlighting that “human rights principles, norms and actions offer effective solutions to build stronger resilience to shocks, and counter despair, by preventing social, economic and political instability”.

Michelle Bachelet believes that, as international human rights bodies, and in line with the Secretary-General's Call to Action for Human Rights, both the Human Rights Council and OHCHR have the shared responsibility to promote measures that will help States better protect the well-being of their peoples and to cooperate with States to ensure they fulfil their obligations in this regard. 

In her statement, Ms Bachelet addressed the current human rights situation in the following countries and territories: Belarus, Poland, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Western Sahara, Mali, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burundi, Somalia, Sahel region, Cote d’Ivoire, Indian and Pakistan administered Kashmir, China, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Afghanistan, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil and the United States.

Therefore, amid COVID-19 ­pandemia– with poverty and tensions shooting up and a sharp decline in many people's hope for a better life – human rights norms can provide the guidance to help States de-escalate grievances, deliver appropriate protection, establish a sound foundation for development and security, and ensure justice, freedom and rights.

“Humanity has faced many crises. I am convinced that together, we can weather the current challenges – and that our societies can emerge better able to prevent injustice”, affirmed Michelle Bachelet.