Human Rights Council: Michelle Bachelet Delivers Opening Statements for the 41st Session

On 24 June 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has delivered the opening statement for the 41st session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). She addressed several human rights issues, including the uninterrupted violations of human rights occurring Saudi Arabia.

In her remarks, Ms. Bachelet stressed and condemned a consistent number of human rights situations, concerning topics like fair trial, death penalty, impunity and so forth. Likewise, she directly mentioned the countries in which such human rights violations are happening, expressing concerns and recommendations.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed regret over Saudi Arabia dismissal of the UN report on the Khashoggi case released last week. In the report, conducted by the UN special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, credible evidence on Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the murder has been found. The denial of the allegations by Saudi Arabia has arrived right after the report released.

On occasion of the HRC, Ms. Callamard is presenting her findings on 26 Wednesday. Furthermore, Middle East Eye reported she told to the newspaper that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “has hidden behind protocol” instead of urging for a further investigation. “In my view, the secretary-general could have set a more proactive process for himself and the UN and he chose otherwise” said Ms. Callamard.

On the other hand, Ms. Bachelet reiterates her condemnation on the mass execution of 37 men, carried out in April in Saudi Arabia. On the contrary, she took positive note of the global progress regarding death penalty, especially for the advances observed in African countries. She also highlighted the 30th anniversary of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights welcomes the opening speech of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in occasion of the Human Rights Council.