OHCHR / BACHELET PRESS CONFERENCE

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09-Dec-2020 00:06:47
In a press conference to mark Human Rights Day, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said it was “astounding” that some political leaders were continuing to play down of COVID-19 and dismissing simple prevention measures such as wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings. UNTV CH

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STORY: OHCHR / BACHELET PRESS CONFERENCE
TRT: 6:47
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 9 DECEMBER 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, Michelle Bachelet UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“2020 is a year none of us will ever forget. A terrible, devastating year that has scarred so many of us, in so many ways. At least 67 million people infected, and 1.6 million dead, in a pandemic that is far from over. A devastating impact on countries’ economies and on employment, income, education, health and food supply for hundreds of millions of people.”
3.Wide shot, briefing room
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“A massive setback to development, to efforts to alleviate poverty and to raise the status of women and girls.”
5. Med shot, journalist
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“We can emerge from this crisis in an even worse state than when it began – and be even less well prepared for the next shock to our systems. We can struggle mightily to get back to normal – but normal is what brought us to where we are today. Or the third possibility, we can recover better.”
7. Close up, photographer
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“But there is a vaccine to hunger, poverty, inequality, and possibly – if it is taken seriously – to climate change, as well as to many of the other ills that face humanity. It is a vaccine we developed in the wake of previous massive global shocks, including pandemics, financial crises and two World Wars.”
9. Med shot, cameraman
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The name of that vaccine is human rights. Its core ingredients are embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose 72nd anniversary we celebrate tomorrow, on Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration is made actionable through the obligations that almost all States have undertaken by ratifying one or both of the International Covenants spanning all five areas of human rights.”
11. Wide shot, briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “Astoundingly, even to this day, some political leaders are still playing down its impact, disparaging the use of simple measures such as wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings. A few political figures are even still talking casually of “herd immunity,” as if the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives is a cost that can be easily borne for the sake of the greater good. Politicizing a pandemic in this way is beyond irresponsible – it is utterly reprehensible.”
13. Med shot, journalist
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“These actions have plunged a knife into the heart of that most precious commodity, trust. Trust between nations, and trust within nations. Trust in government, trust in scientific facts, trust in vaccines, trust in the future. If we are to bring about a better world in the wake of this calamity, as our ancestors undoubtedly did in the wake of World War II, we have to rebuild that trust in each other.”
15. Med shot, journalist
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“It has been shocking, but sadly not at all surprising, to see the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on individuals and groups who are marginalized and suffer discrimination – in particular people of African descent, those from ethnic, national or religious minorities, and indigenous peoples. This has been the case in some of the world’s richest countries, where the mortality rate of some racial and ethnic minorities has been up to three times that of the overall population.”
17. Med shot, journalist
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“When COVID-19 hit, members of discriminated groups and indigenous peoples were over-exposed to contagion because of their low-paid and precarious work in specific industries. Many of the people we suddenly started to recognize and refer to as essential – health care workers, cleaners, transport workers, shop employees – come from such minorities.”
19. Close up, photographer
20. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Over the past 11 months, the poor have become poorer, and those suffering systemic discrimination have fared worst of all.”
21. Close up, writing
22. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The impact on women has been particularly devastating. Because of the horrendous increase in domestic violence all across the world, and because a large proportion of women work in the informal sector and in health care. And because many were left with no choice but to withdraw from the labour market in order to care for children no longer able to go to school, and for older people and the sick. In some areas, women’s rights risk being set back decades.”
23. Med shot, podium
24. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“If we are to recover better, women will need to play a much greater role in decision-making and priority-setting. It is no coincidence that in a world where so few countries have women leaders, several of the countries viewed as having handled the pandemic most effectively were in fact led by women.”
25. Close up, camera
26. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Narrow nationalistic responses will simply undermine collective recovery. The first test of this will be our ability to ensure that new COVID vaccines and tools reach everyone who needs them. The pandemic has highlighted over and over again that no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
27. Close up, Bachelet
28. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Will we seize this moment to devise ways to recover better? Will we properly apply the human rights vaccine that can help us build more resilient, prosperous and inclusive societies? Will we take the immediate necessary steps to combat the biggest existential threat of all, climate change? Let’s hope so. Because if we do not, especially with regard to climate change, 2020 will simply be the first step on the road to further calamity. We have been warned.”
29. Various cut aways

STORYLINE:

In a press conference to mark Human Rights Day, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said it was “astounding” that some political leaders were continuing to play down of COVID-19 and dismissing simple prevention measures such as wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.

In Geneva today (09 Dec), Bachelet said, “2020 is a year none of us will ever forget. A terrible, devastating year that has scarred so many of us, in so many ways. At least 67 million people infected, and 1.6 million dead, in a pandemic that is far from over. A devastating impact on countries’ economies and on employment, income, education, health and food supply for hundreds of millions of people.”

She added, “a massive setback to development, to efforts to alleviate poverty and to raise the status of women and girls.”

“A few political figures are even still talking casually of ‘herd immunity’, as if the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives is a cost that can be easily borne for the sake of the greater good. Politicizing a pandemic in this way is beyond irresponsible – it is utterly reprehensible”, Bachelet said.

Worse still, some leaders had discounted scientific evidence and encouraged conspiracy theories and disinformation to thrive.

The Human rights chief reiaterated, “these actions have plunged a knife into the heart of that most precious commodity, trust. Trust between nations, and trust within nations. Trust in government, trust in scientific facts, trust in vaccines, trust in the future. If we are to bring about a better world in the wake of this calamity, as our ancestors undoubtedly did in the wake of World War Two, we have to rebuild that trust in each other.”

Bachelet suggested three very different possible futures. She said, “we can emerge from this crisis in an even worse state than when it began – and be even less well prepared for the next shock to our systems. We can struggle mightily to get back to normal – but normal is what brought us to where we are today. Or the third possibility, we can recover better.”

She added that the medical vaccines that are being developed will hopefully eventually deliver the world from from COVID-19. But they will not prevent or cure the socio-economic ravages that have resulted from the pandemic, and aided its spread.

Bachelet added, “but there is a vaccine to hunger, poverty, inequality, and possibly – if it is taken seriously – to climate change, as well as to many of the other ills that face humanity. It is a vaccine we developed in the wake of previous massive global shocks, including pandemics, financial crises and two World Wars.”

She said, “the name of that vaccine is human rights. Its core ingredients are embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose 72nd anniversary we celebrate tomorrow, on Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration is made actionable through the obligations that almost all States have undertaken by ratifying one or both of the International Covenants spanning all five areas of human rights.”

Michelle Bachelet stated that the Universal Declaration gave birth to other important international treaties to better protect the rights of specific groups such as children, women, people with disabilities and migrant workers; and ones aiming to tackle forms of discrimination which lead to the greater inequalities, poverty and lack of development that have fed and fertilized the socio-economic devastation caused by COVID-19.

She said, “it has been shocking, but sadly not at all surprising, to see the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on individuals and groups who are marginalized and suffer discrimination – in particular people of African descent, those from ethnic, national or religious minorities, and indigenous peoples. This has been the case in some of the world’s richest countries, where the mortality rate of some racial and ethnic minorities has been up to three times that of the overall population.”

Bachelet continued, “When COVID-19 hit, members of discriminated groups and indigenous peoples were over-exposed to contagion because of their low-paid and precarious work in specific industries. Many of the people we suddenly started to recognize and refer to as essential – health care workers, cleaners, transport workers, shop employees – come from such minorities.”

“Over the past 11 months, the poor have become poorer, and those suffering systemic discrimination have fared worst of all,” the UN human rights chief stated.

On COVID-19’s impact on women, Bachelet warned that it has been “particularly devastating, because of the horrendous increase in domestic violence all across the world, and because a large proportion of women work in the informal sector and in health care.”

She added, “and because many were left with no choice but to withdraw from the labour market in order to care for children no longer able to go to school, and for older people and the sick. In some areas, women’s rights risk being set back decades, including through more limited access to sexual and reproductive rights.”

The High Commisioner stated, “if we are to recover better, women will need to play a much greater role in decision-making and priority-setting. It is no coincidence that in a world where so few countries have women leaders, several of the countries viewed as having handled the pandemic most effectively were in fact led by women.”

Adding that richer countries need to help poorer countries survive this crisis and recover better, Bachelet stated that repairing the frayed system of multilateralism will be essential to manage the recovery.

She said, “narrow nationalistic responses will simply undermine collective recovery. The first test of this will be our ability to ensure that new COVID vaccines and tools reach everyone who needs them. The pandemic has highlighted over and over again that no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

The High Commissioner said, “will we seize this moment to devise ways to recover better? Will we properly apply the human rights vaccine that can help us build more resilient, prosperous and inclusive societies? Will we take the immediate necessary steps to combat the biggest existential threat of all, climate change? Let’s hope so. Because if we do not, especially with regard to climate change, 2020 will simply be the first step on the road to further calamity. We have been warned.”
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