Crises are piling up in the world, and it is primarily the poor who suffer. UN High Commissioner Bachelet calls for more solidarity – and also pillories countries for human rights violations.

In view of growing poverty worldwide, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has called on rich countries to provide more development aid.

The poorest 20 percent of the world’s population have suffered the greatest loss of income as a result of the corona pandemic, Bachelet said on Monday at the start of the session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. They are also particularly badly affected by the climate crisis. According to a study, inequality in the world is greater than it has been in more than 100 years.

Poorer countries groaned under huge mountains of debt. Developing countries would have to spend more than $300 billion this year just to service loans; Money that is missing to invest in their development. New solutions would have to be found to deal with the debt crisis. She called on rich countries to redouble their efforts to allocate 0.7 percent of economic output to international cooperation. According to preliminary calculations by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany will have achieved this goal by 2021.

Worrying developments in some countries

Bachelet mentioned numerous countries with worrying developments. She spoke about the devastating consequences of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the worldwide consequences. She criticized the arrests of war opponents in Russia and the restrictions on freedom of the press and speech. During her recent trip to China, she raised concerns about the detention and human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

The High Commissioner criticized trials against government critics in Turkey like Osman Kavala. She demanded a complete explanation from Israel about the case of journalist Shirin Abu Akle, who was killed a few weeks ago in the West Bank. She is concerned about UK government plans to curtail human rights laws.

Bachelet wants to report in detail on the situation in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which was occupied by Russia, later this week. The 47 members of the Council will discuss the human rights situation around the world over the next four weeks. The countries represented in the Council – currently also Germany – are each elected for three years by the UN General Assembly. The Council can denounce violations and decide on investigations. He has no concrete means of stopping human rights violations.