Home Latest News UN approves Austria’s Volker Türk as new human rights chief

UN approves Austria’s Volker Türk as new human rights chief

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UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Basic Meeting on Thursday permitted a veteran Austrian diplomat to be the worldwide physique’s human rights chief and its advocate for adherence to common rights at a time when the workplace is beneath harsh criticism from China for accusing Beijing of abusing Muslim minorities.

Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres nominated Volker Türk, his high coverage chief, late Wednesday and the 193-member meeting shortly permitted the appointment by consensus with a bang of the gavel by its appearing president, which was adopted by a burst of applause.

Türk will substitute Michelle Bachelet of Chile as excessive commissioner for human rights, based mostly in Geneva.

Bachelet’s four-year time period ended on Aug. 31 with the last-minute launch of her extremely essential report on China’s detention of Uyghurs and different largely Muslim ethnic teams within the western area of Xinjiang, which she mentioned might represent crimes in opposition to humanity.

China blasted the report, accusing the U.N. rights workplace of fabrication and permitting itself for use by Western nations.

Tuerk can even anticipate to face strain from human rights activists.

Amnesty Worldwide’s secretary basic, Agnes Callamard, mentioned he’s being appointed “at a time of appreciable threats to human rights around the globe.”

“Instantly, he has to assist form an efficient human rights response and accountability for Russia’s warfare of aggression in opposition to Ukraine, China’s persecution of tens of millions of Uyghurs, and much too many forgotten crises,” she mentioned in a press release, pointing to Yemen, Congo and Myanmar as examples. “His agenda must also embrace strengthening the human rights response to local weather change and rising inequality.”

Türk, who holds a doctorate in worldwide regulation from the College of Vienna, labored for the U.N. excessive commissioner for refugees around the globe, together with in Malaysia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Congo and Kuwait, earlier than serving in key positions at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. From 2015 to 2019 he was assistant excessive commissioner for cover the place he targeted on creating the International Compact on Refugees.

From 2019 till January 2022, Türk served as assistant secretary-general for strategic coordination in Guterres’ workplace. The U.N. chief then appointed him as undersecretary-general for coverage in his govt workplace.

This yr, Türk has been specializing in the follow-up to Guterres’ September 2021 report known as “Our Frequent Agenda” outlining his imaginative and prescient for the “breakthrough state of affairs” to a greener and safer world. He was additionally tasked with conducting U.N. system-wide coordination together with on the secretary-general’s “Name to Motion for Human Rights.”

Tirana Hassan, interim govt director of Human Rights Watch, responded to the nomination saying: “The brand new excessive commissioner can have his work minimize out combating a troublesome human rights atmosphere throughout the globe.”

“Whether or not it’s confronting crimes in opposition to humanity in Xinjiang, warfare crimes in Ukraine and Ethiopia, or racism in america, the rights chief’s only instruments are strong investigations and a powerful voice,” she mentioned, including {that a} high precedence have to be to right away comply with up on Bachelet’s report on the Uyghurs.

“What’s wanted by the tens of millions of individuals around the globe whose rights are being violated daily is an advocate of their nook who will tackle abusive governments massive and small with out concern and with out hesitation,” Hassan mentioned.

Jordans reported from Berlin



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