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UN Secretary-General Guterres Calls for Reform and Renewed Commitment to Human Rights in Address to Human Rights Council

By: ATN News

Geneva, In a solemn address to the Human Rights Council, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a stark warning about the escalating threats to human rights worldwide, emphasizing the indispensable link between human rights and global peace.

Guterres opened his remarks by underscoring the foundational role of human rights in maintaining peace, lamenting the current global landscape marred by conflicts and assaults on fundamental freedoms. He highlighted the grim toll exacted by conflicts, where parties to war flout humanitarian law with impunity, leading to untold suffering for civilians. Additionally, he pointed out the proliferation of violent rhetoric, discrimination, and hate speech both offline and in digital spaces, exacerbating societal divisions and further eroding human rights norms.

The Secretary-General did not shy away from addressing the failures of international institutions, particularly the deadlock within the Security Council, which has hindered decisive action on pressing peace and security issues, notably Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Israel's military operations in Gaza. Guterres stressed the imperative of reforming the Security Council to enhance its effectiveness and legitimacy in upholding international law and promoting peace.

Guterres reiterated his urgent call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and the immediate release of hostages, emphasizing the need for accountability for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. He condemned the deliberate targeting of civilians, the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, and the collective punishment of populations caught in conflict zones.

Moreover, Guterres outlined a comprehensive approach to address the multifaceted challenges to human rights and peace, including the launch of a United Nations Agenda for Protection in collaboration with the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This initiative aims to prevent human rights violations and respond effectively when they occur, underscoring the United Nations' commitment to protecting vulnerable populations worldwide.

Looking ahead, Guterres called for renewed global commitment to human rights and peace, particularly through the forthcoming Summit of the Future, which will focus on reimagining peacebuilding efforts through a human rights lens. He emphasized the importance of inclusive decision-making processes that prioritize the participation of women and youth, as well as concerted efforts to tackle online abuses and promote digital rights.

In conclusion, Guterres urged world leaders to confront the interconnected challenges of conflict, poverty, and environmental degradation with a renewed commitment to human rights and international cooperation. He invoked the enduring principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a guiding beacon in navigating today's turbulent times, rallying nations to seize the opportunity to advance peace and human rights for all.

The Secretary-General's address underscores the urgent need for collective action to uphold human rights as the cornerstone of global peace and stability, urging governments, civil society, and international institutions to unite in pursuit of a more just and equitable world.


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