Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said this week during a forum in Panama City that promoting a ceasefire in the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine was essential in order for vulnerable populations to recover from the impact caused by higher prices in energy and food.
The Chilean physician who now serves as High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations explained the war was causing a three-dimensional crisis in countries going through an inflationary crisis.
To protect these people we must work with governments and promote sustainable development and increase job opportunities, Bachelet said.
She added that high inflation would cause great unrest and social tension in the short term, and suggested countries should prepare for this.
Bachelet also underlined it should be the task of governments to listen to the demands of vulnerable sectors and increase confidence so that social tension does not worsen. If we continue with high levels of inflation, with lack of sufficient food, with people who have no support, there will be great social unrest; I'm sure of that.
Regarding her country, she insisted that although Chileans want changes now, it was obvious President Gabriel Boric Font would need some time before he could deliver on his campaign promises, while the new Constitution being drafted seemed to have good points despite the growing pessimism.
Chileans will decide through a referendum Sept. 4 whether to approve the new Fundamental Law or keep the current one, penned in 1980 by the military regime of General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte to stay in force.
Bachelet said she believed the new document was going to be key in solving the most important challenges of the country and ensure that all regions feel represented, integrating Human Rights standards such as housing, water, health, and plurinationality.
The UN official also addressed the need for Venezuela to have fair, transparent, and participatory elections in 2024, as the country needed the sanctions against it lifted. We are against sectoral sanctions, not only in Venezuela, everywhere, because sectoral sanctions usually hurt the poorest.
When you are imposing these sanctions you have to look at who is being impacted and it is not the powerful, it is the most vulnerable that are impacted, she added.
Regarding Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Haiti, Bachelet explained that the imprisonment of political opponents and the increasing gang violence called for stronger measures to uphold human rights.