New UN rights chief decries abuses of minorities, migrants

The new UN rights chief decried Monday crackdowns on minorities in countries like Myanmar and China and urged Western countries…

The new UN rights chief decried Monday crackdowns on minorities in countries like Myanmar and China and urged Western countries to respect migrant rights, warning that erecting walls only caused chaos and suffering.

In her first address, Michelle Bachelet opened the UN Human Rights Council’s 39th session stressing her “commitment to bridging the differences between communities and promoting respect, well-being and freedom.”

Diplomats and activists from around the world gathered in Geneva to hear her maiden speech, seeking clues as to whether she will mimic the abrasive style of predecessor Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Bachelet, a former Chilean president, hailed Zeid but seemed to stake out a softer approach, only briefly mentioning a few concrete rights situations and refraining from full-blown criticism.

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