Bachelet calls for renewed push for international cooperation

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Michele Bachelet, Presidente of Chile, speaks in Geneva. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The plight of Syrian refugee children and the rise of xenophobic hate-speech must be countered by greater cooperation between members of the international community.

That was the message Chilean President Michelle Bachelet delivered to the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Michelle Bachelet launched a strong defence of the UN and also the Human Rights Council in her address to Member States in Geneva.

The special session was held at the request of Chile which is seeking re-election to the 47-member body in 2018.

In a reference to the Syrian conflict which is now in its seventh year, the millions of refugees it has created and the resulting populism across Europe, the Chilean President said that it was almost as if we had forgotten that such talk was the cause of wars in the not-so-distant past.

Mrs Bachelet – who was the first Executive Director of the UN gender equality agency, UN Women – also accepted that rights violations persist, and that the Council had faced what she called "significant setbacks" in critical areas, such as equality and ending discrimination based on nationality, religion, gender, race or ethnicity.

The answer, the Chilean leader continued, is to hold on to offer "unconditional support" to the international promotion and protection of human rights – the only subject of global consensus since the Second World War.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1’02″

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