UN human rights chief urges states to ‘rebuild foundation of hope’ in ‘somber moment in history’

UN human rights chief urges states to 'rebuild foundation of hope' in ‘somber moment in history’
UN human rights chief urges states to 'rebuild foundation of hope' in ‘somber moment in history’

Africa-Press – Tanzania. The UN human rights chief urged member states Tuesday to “rebuild a foundation of hope” as the world needs it now “more than ever at this somber moment in history.”

Volker Turk’s remarks came during the opening ceremony of a high-level event commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the heads of member states.

“Disorder and division. Complex and bitter geopolitics. Deepening inequalities. And fear,” are engulfing the planet, said Turk. “Unbearably, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel – yet again; as well as in Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar and far too many other places, conflict, intractable and brutal, is inflicting terrible suffering on civilians, without remorse.”

Backtracking of sustainable development goals, strangling of civic spaces, climate crisis and other crises are “the consequences of failure to uphold human rights,” he said.

“They are not the failure of human rights. They bear witness to the damage that is done when human rights are ignored and violated,” he warned.

Welcoming the proposed transformative ideas and commitments made by more than 155 states Monday regarding human rights issues, the human rights chief said he is “very grateful” for the surge of transformative promises.

Turk asked states to shift their perspectives to four key discussion areas about “how we can make human rights central to all policy-making and all action, now and in the future.”

He said those key discussions include peace and security, digital transformation, economy and human rights.

“I’m asking you to come together, transcending different societies and systems, to seek out areas of agreement and ensure meaningful change,” he said.

“Human rights principles are our best solution to this fraught and frightened world. I entreat you to rekindle the spirit, impulse and vitality that led to the Universal Declaration 75 years ago,” he added.

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