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13-06-2022 | Edited News , Press Conferences

UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet announces that she will not seek a second term.

ENG

  1. Wide shot: exterior alley of flags at Palais des Nations
  2. Wide shot: Room 20
  3. Wide shot: Podium Michelle Bachelet
  4. SOUNDBITE (English)—Michelle Bachelet for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “As my term as High Commissioner draws to a close, this Council’s milestone fiftieth session will be the last which I brief. This Council, for all of the differences of its members, remains central to protecting and promoting the human rights that lie at the heart of our common humanity. It has proven its ability to do that, and I therefore encourage you all to continue to seek dialogue, to be willing to hear the other, to understand respective points of view and to actively work towards identifying common ground, as prerequisites to achieving durable solutions to the challenges that threaten us all. This Council's work is also the richer for the voices and involvement of civil society in all its diversity. I encourage the Council to preserve and enhance their unique contribution and participation in this forum. I thank you.”
  5. Wide shot: Journalist and cameras at press stake out.
  6. SOUNDBITE (English)—Michelle Bachelet for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):As I said earlier in the in the Council chamber, I will not be seeking a second term after my mandate expires on the 31st of August of this year. Of course, from now on, I’ll continue working as hardly as I should. I mean, I'm going to discharge all my responsibilities as I've always done. And I'm not, I mean, I have to tell you that two months ago, probably, I went to New York, and I had a meeting with the SG where I indicated to him that I was not willing to seek for a second term. So, this is not something new. I mean, it was of course something I discussed with him. He told me he would love me to continue, but I explained to him that because of personal reasons, I need to – after all, I am not a young woman anymore and after a long and rich career, I want to go back to my country, to my family. So that's how the personal reasons. 
  7. Wide shot: Journalist and cameras at press stake out.
  8. SOUNDBITE (English)—Michelle Bachelet for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):I just told you that two months ago, before even going to China, I made the decision, and I informed my boss the Secretary-General. So, this has no relationship. I always read when people criticize us, I listen, and I think that's part of my life. Can’t you imagine that having been president twice, I have received a lot of criticism in my life? So that's not what makes me do certain decisions. This is a decision, and really, truly because my family needs me there and because my country needs me there. I mean, I've been asked not for something specific, but I want to be there. Because I think Chile is living a very important moment in history, so I want to be closer and of course dedicate a bit of time for my family after being so many years minister, president, UN Women, president, high commissioner, I think it's time. It's time to go back.
  9. Wide shot: Journalist and cameras at press stake out
  10. Journalist: “So I'm wondering about the report on China and what this, what your departure might do if you haven't given it that date for when it will be released, will you commit to it the released before you leave? Is that the expectation?”
  11. SOUNDBITE (English)—Michelle Bachelet for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “”
  12. Wide shot: Journalist and cameras at press stake out
  13.  

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet announced that she will not be seeking a second term at the 50th session of the Human Rights Council.

At the end of her opening remarks Michelle Bachelet said, “As my term as, High Commissioner draws to a close, this Council’s milestone fiftieth session will be the last which I brief. This Council, for all of the differences of its members, remains central to protecting and promoting the human rights that lie at the heart of our common humanity. It has proven its ability to do that, and I therefore encourage you all to continue to seek dialogue, to be willing to hear the other, to understand respective points of view and to actively work towards identifying common ground, as prerequisites to achieving durable solutions to the challenges that threaten us all. This Council's work is also the richer for the voices and involvement of civil society in all its diversity. I encourage the Council to preserve and enhance their unique contribution and participation in this forum. I thank you”

Shortly after the end of the morning session of the 50th Human Rights Council, Michelle Bachelet spoke at a brief press stake out. “As I said earlier in the in the Council chamber, I will not be seeking a second term after my mandate expires on the 31st of August of this year. Of course, from now on, I’ll continue working as hardly as I should. I mean, I'm going to discharge all my responsibilities as I've always done. And I'm not, I mean, I have to tell you that two months ago, probably, I went to New York, and I had a meeting with the SG where I indicated to him that I was not willing to seek for a second term. So, this is not something new. I mean, it was of course something I discussed with him. He told me he would love me to continue, but I explained to him that because of personal reasons, I need to – after all, I am not a young woman anymore and after a long and rich career, I want to go back to my country, to my family. So that's how the personal reasons,” the High Commissioner said.

 To a question about criticisms following her visit to China she answered, “I just told you that two months ago before even going to China, I made the decision and I informed to my boss, to the Secretary-General. So, this has no relation. I always read when people criticize us, I listen, and I think that's part of my life. Can you imagine that having been president twice, I have received a lot of criticism in my life, so that's not what makes me that do certain decisions. This is a decision, and really, truly, because my family needs me there and because my country needs me. I mean, I've been asked not for something specific, but I want to do there. Because I think Chile's living a very important moment in history, so I want to be closer and of course, dedicate a bit of time for my family after being so many years, minister, president, U.N. women, president, high commissioner, I think it's time. It's time to go back.”

 A journalist also asked about the report on China “So I'm wondering about the report on China and what this what your departure might do if you haven't given it that date for when it will be released, will you commit to it the released before you leave? Is that the expectation?

The high Commissioners answer was: “Yes.”

For more information and media requests, please contact for more information and media requests, please contact:  For more information and media requests, please contact for more information and media requests, please contact: Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org or  or Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / marta.hurtadogomez@un.org

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