HomeNewsUN approves Austria's Volker Türk as new human rights chief

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



UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Common Meeting on Thursday accredited 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-Common Antonio Guterres nominated Volker Türk, his prime coverage chief, late Wednesday and the 193-member meeting shortly accredited the appointment by consensus with a bang of the gavel by its performing president, which was adopted by a burst of applause.

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

Bachelet’s four-year time period ended on Aug. 31 with the last-minute launch of her extremely crucial report on China’s detention of Uyghurs and different largely Muslim ethnic teams within the western area of Xinjiang, which she stated could 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 may also count on to face stress from human rights activists.

Amnesty Worldwide’s secretary common, Agnes Callamard, stated he’s being appointed “at a time of appreciable threats to human rights all over the world.”

“Instantly, he has to assist form an efficient human rights response and accountability for Russia’s struggle of aggression in opposition to Ukraine, China’s persecution of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, and much too many forgotten crises,” she stated in an announcement, pointing to Yemen, Congo and Myanmar as examples. “His agenda also needs to 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 all over the world, 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 defense the place he centered on growing the World 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 12 months, 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 situation” 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 may 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, struggle crimes in Ukraine and Ethiopia, or racism in the USA, the rights chief’s best instruments are sturdy investigations and a powerful voice,” she stated, including {that a} prime precedence should be to right away comply with up on Bachelet’s report on the Uyghurs.

“What’s wanted by the hundreds of thousands of individuals all over the world whose rights are being violated daily is an advocate of their nook who will tackle abusive governments massive and small with out worry and with out hesitation,” Hassan stated.

Jordans reported from Berlin



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