Palace optimistic of ‘better relations’ with new UN rights chief
By Julius N. Leonen
INQUIRER.net
August 9, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Former Chilean president and now United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RAFFY LERMA

Malacañang is optimistic that the government would spur “better relations” with newly-appointed United Nations (UN) human rights chief Michelle Bachelet.

Bachelet, who was the former President of Chile, was appointed to replace outgoing UN human rights Commissioner Zeid Raad Al Hussein.

“We are optimistic that we will have better relations with the new high commissioner for human rights,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.

“Well, I would say that the entire community of states perhaps elected her for a reason, noting that no less than the US has opted to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council,” Roque also said.

Bachelet, however, was not elected. She was picked by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to lead the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

READ: US withdraws from ‘cesspool’ UN rights body

To recall, the United States withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council after calling it “a protector of human-rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.”

But with Bachelet’s appointment, the US appears to be hopeful.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley issued a statement urging the new UN human rights chief to “avoid the failures of the past.”

“The UN has failed to adequately address major human rights crises in Iran, North Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and elsewhere, or stop its chronic, disproportionate obsession with Israel,” Haley said.

“It is up to Ms. Bachelet to speak out against these failures rather than accept the status quo. We hope that she does. The United States will,” the American diplomat added. /jpv

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