LWF congratulates High Commissioner Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet receives flowers during a visit to Haiti in 2012 during her tenure as UN Women executive director. Photo: UN Women (CC-BY-NC-SA)
Michelle Bachelet receives flowers during a visit to Haiti in 2012 during her tenure as UN Women executive director. Photo: UN Women (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Support to new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as she starts work

(LWI) The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has congratulated United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet on her appointment, in a joint letter by over 750 non-governmental organizations. Bachelet this morning opened the Human Rights Council, the first time in her new role.

“We are committed to a world in which every person enjoys human rights and dignity and in which our communities are fair, just and sustainable. We consider that a strong High Commissioner, working in strategic partnership with independent civil society, can contribute significantly to the realization of this vision,” the letter presented to her last week says.

“You take up office at a time when human rights are under attack and when we risk the reversal of many of the achievements of the modern human rights movement,” the letter said. “We look to you in these troubled times to be an unwavering voice in the defence of human rights, and of victims, rights-holders and human rights defenders around the world.”

The organizations share their experiences of the human rights situation, such as attempts to silence human rights mechanisms at the highest level, the shrinking of civil society space, attacks on human rights defenders and the human rights framework itself. They call upon Bachelet to address these issues, protecting survivors and victims of human rights violations and working with those defending their rights.

“You take up office at a time when human rights are under attack and when we risk the reversal of many of the achievements of the modern human rights movement. We look to you in these troubled times to be an unwavering voice in the defence of human rights, and of victims, rights-holders and human rights defenders around the world.”
LWF/ NGO statement

The organizations that signed say they “stand ready to support you and your Office in the fulfilment of your vital mandate,” the letter concludes.

LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge also welcomed Bachelet to the office. In a letter he said he looked forward to stronger cooperation and assured her of the full support of the LWF.