(Newsroom America) -- In a wide-ranging opening speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UN rights chief sheds a light on “preventable calamities” and worrying trends around the world, including detailed concerns about the situation in more than 50 countries.
“Hate is becoming mainstreamed,” warned the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, speaking at the opening of the Council's 32nd session.
“Walls – which tormented previous generations, and have never yielded any sustainable solution to any problem – are returning. Barriers of suspicion are rising, snaking through and between our societies – and they are killers.
"Clampdowns on public freedoms, and crackdowns on civil society activists and human rights defenders, are hacking away at the forces which uphold the healthy functioning of societies. Judicial institutions which act as checks on executive power are being dismantled. Towering inequalities are hollowing out the sense that there are common goods,” Mr. Zeid stressed.
He said these trends “bleed nations of their innate resilience,” and do not make them safe; instead, they make them weaker.
“Piece by piece, these mutually reinforcing trends are shearing off the protections that maintain respect, enable development, and provide the only fragile basis for world peace. They are attacks on sanity. And they can be reversed,” he advised, pleading to Member States to stop the violence and pain that is being inflicted on women, men, and children,” he said.
Pleading to Member States, the UN rights chief asked them to stop the violence and pain that is being inflicted on people “because this madness can be stopped.”
“We are 7.4 billion human beings clinging to a small and fragile planet,” Mr. Zeid said.
“And there is really only one way to ensure a good and sustainable future: ensure respect, resolve disputes, construct institutions that are sound and fair and share resources and opportunities equitably.”