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Home / Press Release / Human Rights First Applauds Selection of Michelle Bachelet as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
August 09, 2018

Human Rights First Applauds Selection of Michelle Bachelet as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Washington, D.C—In response to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s announcement that he has chosen former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet as the next U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rob Berschinski, Senior Vice President for Policy at Human Rights First, issued the following statement:

Michelle Bachelet is an inspired choice for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. As a torture victim, former head of U.N. Women, and former head of state, she brings gravitas, bureaucratic know-how, and a personal understanding of how human rights abuses rend societies and contribute to instability. With so many of the world’s most powerful governments either openly hostile to human rights, or, in the case of the United States, abandoning their historic leadership role on the issue, it’s imperative that Bachelet pull no punches in criticizing injustice and abuses wherever they are found."

Guterres’s statement, released Wednesday, indicates that following consultations with certain U.N. member states, he intends to appoint Bachelet as the next High Commissioner. Bachelet served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010 and 2014 to 2018. From 2010 to 2013 she served as the first Executive Director of U.N. Women, and held the rank of U.N. Under-Secretary-General. She succeeds Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein of Jordan. 

“History will remember Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein as an impassioned voice for the rights of the persecuted and powerless, and as a tireless and impartial critic of government abuses. Al-Hussein spoke truth to power, and for that he won many enemies,” added Berschinski.        

For more information or to speak with Berschinski, contact Christopher Plummer at PlummerC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3310.