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UN: Failure to respect human rights causing violent conflicts, instability 

UN: Failure to respect human rights causing violent conflicts, instability 
December 07
09:26 2023

Volker Türk, United Nations high commissioner for human rights, says failure to respect human rights responsible for violent conflicts and instability across the world.

Türk spoke on Wednesday, during a press conference organised by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

The Human Rights Day, observed yearly, commemorates the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to Türk, human rights must be at the centre of governance and must be in policies and laws, and how they are implemented.

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“They must be the common thread, running through all aspects of governance, economy and society,” he said.

“Unfortunately, leaders in many parts of the world are ignoring human rights and as a result, we are seeing violent conflict increase and intensify across the globe.”

Türk noted that the UDHR was crafted with lessons drawn from two global wars, the holocaust, atomic destruction, profound economic devastation, and generations of colonial exploitation, oppression, injustice and bloodshed.

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This, he said, was conceived as a roadmap to a more stable and just world.

Türk said given the pervasive conflicts and coups, the disregard for human rights got the world to its current situation.

According to him, conflicts and crises bedeviling the world should be a wake-up call for the international community.

“A wake-up call that when human rights are violated or sidelined, conflicts erupt. A wake-up call that failure to respect human rights results in instability, suffering, more inequalities and economic crises,” he said.

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“A wake-up call that when human rights defenders and the UN human rights office ring alarm bells, you must listen and you must act to prevent violations.”

Speaking on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, he called on the international community to immediately insist on a ceasefire, on human rights and humanitarian grounds.

He noted that the situation unfolding in the Gaza Strip was foreseeable and preventable, adding that his humanitarian colleagues described the situation as “apocalyptic”.

“In these circumstances, there is a heightened risk of atrocity crimes. Measures need to be taken urgently – both by the parties concerned and by all states – particularly those with influence to prevent any such crimes,” Türk said.

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“As the catastrophic consequences for civilians in Gaza mount, I want to again express my grave concern regarding dehumanizing and inciteful statements made by current and former high-level Israeli officials, as well as Hamas figures.”

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