The Rule of Law under Global Threat (statement to new UN High Commissioner)

The Rule of Law under Global Threat (statement to new UN High Commissioner)

The ICJ today addressed the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, highlighting the role of her office in countering global threats to the rule of law and human rights.

The statement was made at the UN Human Rights Council, during general debate on the High Commissioner’s oral update. It read as follows:

“Madam High Commissioner,

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) warmly welcomes you to your new mandate – a mandate that the ICJ has, since 1964, fought to create and support.

A multitude of issues and situations urgently call for your attention. However, a dark cloud looms over them all, and casts its shadow across the globe, including in this chamber. From different directions, various political actors driven by authoritarian ideologies and impulses, thirst for power and fraudulent populisms, grow in strength and are joining forces to mount a concerted attack on the rule of law.

They openly scorn the stated aims of the UN Charter, including “faith in fundamental human rights” and the maintenance of “justice and respect for … international law.” They seek to undermine, defame, and destroy global, regional and national institutions built over decades as bulwarks to protect human rights and human dignity. They thrive on silence or passivity by global leaders and populations, as they assault independent judiciaries, media, and civil society.

Madam High Commissioner, you can make a unique impact by speaking forcefully and publicly in defense of human rights and the rule of law, in defense of victims, and against governments and individuals who demonstrate their hostility or indifference to these aims. The ICJ stands ready to support you and your office in the challenges that lie ahead.

Thank you.”

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