United Nations Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres has nominated socialist ex-President Michelle Bachelet of Chile to be the following human rights chief, the U.N. mentioned Wednesday.
Secretary-general spokesman Farhan Haq mentioned that Guterres has knowledgeable the Normal Meeting of the nomination for prime commissioner of human rights.
Bachelet served as president of Chile twice, from 2006-10 and from 2014-18. Between these phrases, she was government director of the U.N physique for gender equality and the empowerment of ladies.
The decide got here after Excessive Commissioner Zeid Ra’advert Al Hussein selected to not search one other time period in workplace. Zeid was recognized for his fiery rhetoric, significantly in opposition to President Trump, who he as soon as in comparison with the Islamic State.
The U.S. has been pushing again in opposition to what it sees as anti-Israel and anti-U.S. bias on the U.N. Final month, the U.S. introduced its withdrawal from the Human Rights Council — with Ambassador Nikki Haley deriding it as a “cesspool of political bias.” Whereas the Workplace of the Excessive Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and the HRC are separate our bodies, they work collectively in selling the U.N.’s agenda on human rights. The U.S. Mission didn’t instantly touch upon the nomination.
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Bachelet ended her first time period as president with excessive approval rankings and a robust economic system. However her second time period as marred by allegations of corruption and a sluggish economic system — sending her approval rankings plummeting.
A Wall Road Journal op-ed this 12 months described her as abandoning “a legacy of financial malaise.”
Former Obama-era U.N. Ambassador Samantha Energy reacted to preliminary reviews of Bachelet’s decide with approval, calling her a “robust alternative” and noting that she and her household have been persecuted underneath dictator Augusto Pinochet.
“Along with being a profitable two-term president and skilled w/in @UN, Bachelet has a lifelong dedication to the reason for human rights. Her father was tortured underneath Pinochet & died in custody. She and her mother have been additionally arrested and overwhelmed,” she mentioned. “She’s a fighter.”
However U.N. Watch, an unbiased monitoring group primarily based in Switzerland, expressed “severe considerations” about what it referred to as her “spotty” report on supporting human rights in international locations akin to Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
“There is not any query that the previous Chilean president is a extremely educated and clever politician, who additionally brings essential negotiating abilities,” mentioned Govt Director Hillel Neuer in an announcement. “However she has a controversial report in the case of her help for the human rights abusing governments who rule Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, and we have to understand how she plans to handle these pressing conditions earlier than her nomination is voted upon.”
U.N. Watch cited a controversial go to by Bachelet to Cuba this 12 months, the place she met Raul Castro with out additionally assembly any members of the opposition.
The group additionally mentioned that she praised deceased Venezuelan chief Hugo Chavez for “his most profound love for his individuals and the challenges of our area to eradicate poverty and generate a greater life for everybody and his profound love for Latin America.”
Bachelet’s nomination will now go to the U.N. Normal Meeting for approval.