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UN rights chief Volker Turk condemns Russia's "senseless" war in Ukraine
Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk has condemned Russia's "senseless" invasion of Ukraine and stressed that the UN body needs to forge a new worldwide consensus on human rights, broadening its base of support, according to the statement released by UN's OHCHR.
While addressing the Human Rights Council session at which countries want to strengthen scrutiny of Moscow's alleged war crimes, Turk said, "The old destructive wars of aggression from a bygone era with worldwide consequences, as we have witnessed again in Europe with the senseless Russian invasion of Ukraine." He also recalled the old movement against indigenous discrimination like "Black Lives Matter; #MeToo; and Fridays for Future" and many more.
Young people, in particular, consistently speak in the language of human rights when giving voice to their concerns, Turk said in the session. He also stated, "I pay tribute to all human rights defenders of the past and present."
Human rights is a force to reckon with, not because it serves the interests of the powerful, but because it has captured the imagination of the powerless. Still, the oppression of the past can return, in various disguises, according to the statement.
"The new, supple artificial intelligence, blurring fact and fiction and raising uncharted risks - and the tumultuous online world where viral deceptions threaten our elections, our health, our security, and more," UN Human Rights Chief said.
He also hoped that this year will be the moment in which the world will finally shift the balance from exploitation of digital technology for profit and oppression, to greater investment in digital innovation to tackle our biggest challenges - poverty, climate change, and inequality.
"With an eye to the past, as well as to the future; in the spirit of "never again", and in the interest of inter-generational justice, it is critical that we rekindle the spirit, the impulse and the vitality that led to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 75 years ago," Turk stated.
"We need to forge a new worldwide consensus on human rights, broadening its base of support and moving forward together in recognition that our survival depends on finding our way back to that common language," he added.
Talking about UN OHCHR, Turk stated that the institution exists to advance all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, on an equal footing, as well as the right to development and the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, is in a unique position to rebuild this shared respect for each other's dignity.
The organisation's goal is to promote and implement a 21st-century human rights vision that is transformative; solution-oriented; unifying; and speaks directly to every person's need for justice and search for meaning in life, the statement read.
It is against this backdrop that we have embarked this year on the Human Rights 75 initiative, first and foremost, to rebuild trust, the statement added. (ANI)