UN Human Rights Volker Türk Global Update speech to the 56th Human Rights Council edit
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Edited News | OHCHR , UNOG

UN Human Rights Volker Türk Global Update speech to the 56th Human Rights Council edit

Killings and injuries of civilians have become a daily occurrence. Destruction of vital infrastructure a daily occurrence. Devastating and reckless. Children shot at. Hospitals bombed. Heavy artillery launched on entire communities. All along with hateful, divisive, and dehumanising rhetoric,” said Türk, in his Global Update to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

 

The High Commissioner voiced dismay at the extent to which warring parties have pushed beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable - and legal - on many fronts, with utter contempt for the other, trampling human rights at their core.

 

We urgently need to find our way back to peace, in line with the UN Charter and international law,” Türk stressed.

As of the end of May 2024, the gap between humanitarian funding requirements and available resources stands at US $40.8 billion USD. Appeals are funded at an average of 16.1 per cent only, Türk said.

This is in stark contrast with the almost 2.5 trillion USD in global military expenditure in 2023, a 6.8 per cent increase in real terms from 2022, the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009.   

In addition to inflicting unbearable human suffering, war comes with a hefty price tag,” he said, detailing the far-reaching impact of war and conflict on the environment.  

Burning of land, chemical contamination of air, water and soil, destruction of civilian infrastructure, even the risk of nuclear catastrophe. This comes on top of some of the biggest challenges humanity faces today — climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.  And with every passing day, humanity’s window of opportunity closes,” he said.

In his speech, the High Commissioner also highlighted the continuing pushbacks on the rights of women and girls, noting that active resistance to gender equality is a key factor in slowing progress – even reversing gains made – in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

No country is immune from regression in women’s rights. Everyone must be vigilant and steadfast in countering this pushback. And with the same determination, challenge harmful narratives, embrace inclusivity and respect the rights and dignity of everyone, everywhere,” said Türk.   

Any form of hate speech is unacceptable, dangerous for social cohesion and a harbinger of worse to come, the High Commissioner said.

I once again warn warned of the dangers of antisemitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, as well as divisive rhetoric and disinformation that cast migrants and refugees as the scapegoats for wider challenges in society, including socio-economic issues.  This has become particularly fashionable among populists and far right extremists in election campaigns in Europe, North America and elsewhere,” he said.

The High Commissioner also flagged the increasingly aggressive verbal attacks, threats and reprisals, and virulent social media campaigns against international institutions and mechanisms, including the United Nations generally, the UN Human Rights Office, Special Procedures mandate holders, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court.

This is unacceptable. These institutions were set up and mandated by States precisely to undertake their crucial work — States must facilitate this work and protect it from undue interference and attack.  I would like each of us to think hard about how to ensure that the achievements of the multilateral system are not undermined and that we are able to do our job,” he said.

A strong and effective human rights system is key to effective multilateral cooperation, and to building a better future for people and planet.  My Office is ready to play its part.”

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org or

Liz Throssell - + 41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org or

Jeremy Laurence - +41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org or

Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / marta.hurtadogomez@un.org or

Thameen Al-Kheetan - + 41 76 223 77 62 / thameen.alkheetan@un.org

 

 

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STORY: UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk Global Update speech to the 56th Human Rights Council

TRT: 03:12
SOURCE: UNOG/OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: English/ NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 
DATELINE:  18 June 2024-
Geneva, Switzerland

SHOTLIST

1.     Exterior: Alley of flags, Palais des Nations

2.     Interior: Room 20

3.     Interior: Room 20 Volker Türk on Podium

4.     Cut Aways: Room 20

5.     SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Killings and injuries of civilians have become a daily occurrence. Destruction of vital infrastructure a daily occurrence. Devastating and reckless. Children shot at. Hospitals bombed. Heavy artillery launched on entire communities. All along with hateful, divisive, and dehumanising rhetoric.”

6.     Cut Aways: Room 20

7.     SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: We urgently need to find our way back to peace, in line with the UN Charter and international law.”

8.     Cut Aways: Room 20

9.     SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: In addition to inflicting unbearable human suffering, war comes with a hefty price tag.”

10.  Cut Aways: Room 20

11.  SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Burning of land, chemical contamination of air, water and soil, destruction of civilian infrastructure, even the risk of nuclear catastrophe. This comes on top of some of the biggest challenges humanity faces today — climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.  And with every passing day, humanity’s window of opportunity closes.”

12.  Cut Aways: Room 20

13.  SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: No country is immune from regression in women’s rights. Everyone must be vigilant and steadfast in countering this pushback. And with the same determination, challenge harmful narratives, embrace inclusivity and respect the rights and dignity of everyone, everywhere.”

14.  Cut Aways: Room 20

15.  SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: I once again warn warned of the dangers of antisemitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, as well as divisive rhetoric and disinformation that cast migrants and refugees as the scapegoats for wider challenges in society, including socio-economic issues.  This has become particularly fashionable among populists and far right extremists in election campaigns in Europe, North America and elsewhere.”

16.  Cut Aways: Room 20

17.  SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: This is unacceptable. These institutions were set up and mandated by States precisely to undertake their crucial work — States must facilitate this work and protect it from undue interference and attack.  I would like each of us to think hard about how to ensure that the achievements of the multilateral system are not undermined and that we are able to do our job.”

18.  Cut Aways: Room 20

19.  SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: A strong and effective human rights system is key to effective multilateral cooperation, and to building a better future for people and planet.  My Office is ready to play its part.”

20.  Cut Aways: Room 20


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