The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Chilean Michelle Bacheletannounced Monday in Geneva that he will not run for a second term.
“What me mandate of high Commissioner comes to an end, this 50th session of the Council will be the last in which I express myself,” said the 70-year-old former Chilean president before the Council of Human rights in Geneva.
Look: Xi Jinping defends China’s achievements in human rights before Michelle Bachelet
Bachelet had notified his “boss” Antonio Guterres, the secretary general of the UNtwo months ago.
“He wanted me to stay but (…) I am no longer a young woman and after a long and rich career, I want to return to my country, with my family,” she explained.
Guterres praised Bachelet and said he “lived and breathed the human rights”. “He moved things forward in an extremely difficult political context,” he added.
“I am sad to see her go. Because of her personal history, she defended What few the human rights”, Katharina Stasch, German ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, reacted on Twitter.
The post of High Commissioner for Human rights is facing strong political pressure from many countries around the world. Although it can be carried out for two terms, almost all the predecessors of Bachelet They avoided staying more than one mandate.
Bachelet –Chile’s first female president, who suffered torture during the dictatorship– was appointed to the post by the general secretary of the UNAntonio Guterres, in 2018. His mandate ends at the end of August.
the style of Bacheletbased on dialogue, marked a clear break with his predecessor, the Jordanian Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
“Keep looking for dialogue,” he launched before the Council. “You have to be prepared to listen to the other, understand their points of view and actively work to find common ground,” he continued.
the chinese thorn
Recently, it was the subject of harsh criticism from the United States and NGOs What man Rights Watch or Amnesty International, which accused it of having maintained an excessively tolerant position in the face of violations of the human rights in China.
They reproach him for not having denounced these abuses more firmly during his visit to the Asian giant, the first by a High Commissioner since 2005.
“This has nothing to do” with the decision not to provide a second mandateassured.
“I always listen to criticism”, but “that is not what makes me adopt certain positions”, he insisted.
It was also criticized for having delayed the publication of a report documenting the situation of the human rights in Xinjiang.
On Monday, Bachelet said he will share the report with Chinese authorities first —What happens with all countries– before publishing it.
He also reiterated that, during his meetings with Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping, he spoke of the violations of the human rights.
“I have always stressed the importance of dialogue in my interactions with all member countries, even on the most difficult issues,” he added.
Bachelet announced an agreement with China to hold an annual high-level meeting dedicated to human rights.
detention and torture
Born on September 29, 1951 in Santiago, she spent her childhood in various cities in Chile, where her father, a pilot in the Chilean air force, was stationed. In 1970, she began to study Medicine and entered the Socialist Youth.
He experienced first-hand the military coup of September 11, 1973 and the bloody dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). His father, Alberto Bacheletdied in 1974 due to torture for remaining loyal to the government of the ousted socialist president Salvador Allende.
The death of her father will forever mark the life of Michelle, who has always will search be at his height.
In 1975, she was arrested along with her mother by the secret services. They were transferred to the Villa Grimaldi center, a clandestine torture center in Santiago.
Then they went into exile first to Australia and then to the German Democratic Republic, where he continued his medical studies. He returned to Chile in 1979, graduating three years later.
This pediatrician by profession, mother of three children, was president of Chile twice.
After a first mandate (2006-2010), which concluded with record levels of popularity, Bachelet could not appear immediately, since the Constitution does not allow to practice twice consecutively.
She was then appointed as head of the body UN-Women, in New York, an international position from which she promoted the value of women in politics.
At the end of 2013, he reappeared to lead his country and carried out a second mandate (2014-2018), during which he promoted several progressive reforms, What the adoption of same-sex marriage and the decriminalization of abortion.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.