Former two-time Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Monday delivered a speech she said was her last as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Her departure from the post had been widely demanded following a trip to China in which she achieved little to nothing in favor of those whose rights had been neglected and everything to sustain the Government's narrative that the camps were anti-terrorist measures.
After her message reviewing the situation of fundamental rights and freedoms in the world before the UN Human Rights Council, Bachelet said: This historic session will be the last in which I will appear.
Today, I briefed @UN_HRC, opening my last session as High Commissioner. I will not be seeking a second term for personal reasons. It is time to go back to Chile & be with family. I urge States to identify common ground to achieve solutions to our shared human rights challenges.— Michelle Bachelet (@mbachelet) June 13, 2022
Bachelet chose this occasion to announce what many saw coming, although she later assured journalists that the decision was made two months ago.
The Chilean physician told UN Secretary-General António Guterres her decision was due to personal reasons.
The announcement of her return to her country - it is time to return to Chile and to my family – has caused a stir in Chilean politics. It comes just 12 weeks before the plebiscite that will define the fate of a new Constitution on September 4.
The current president, Gabriel Boric, reacted quickly to the news: Welcome back, he wrote on Twitter.
I'm no longer a young woman and after a long and enriching career, I wish to return to my country and my family, Bachelet explained, while she denied this announcement was linked in any way to the criticisms she has received about her trip to China. After so many years as a public figure, Bachelet insisted she was used to taking flak from all angles.
Bachelet was supposed to take an interest in the situation of the Uighur Muslim minority during her trip to China, but instead endorsed the far-fetched explanations from Beijing.
The mandate of the high commissioner for human rights, created in 1993, lasts four years and has only been renewed once, when it was held by the South African Navy Pillay (2008-2014).
Guterres is now to propose a new personality for the position to be approved by the UN General Assembly.