Human rights ‘inescapable and powerful’: UN Secretary-General António Guterres

He stated, while speaking during the annual session of the Council, "Human rights can't be confiscated by dictators or erased by poverty. Nor are they a luxury that can be left for later. They are inescapable and powerful".

Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, said, human rights are ‘under assault’ at everywhere. He made remarks in a video message. 

He stated, while speaking during the annual session of the Council, “Human rights can’t be confiscated by dictators or erased by poverty. Nor are they a luxury that can be left for later. They are inescapable and powerful”.

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Speaking on the current scenario of the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine equity, the Secretary-General stated, “Vaccine inequality displays an utter disregard for the human rights of entire countries as well as of regions”. He made the remark while urging and appealing to the government’s pharmaceutical companies and their partners to come forward and do their part in supporting the international agency to achieve 70% of the vaccination target set by – World Health Organisation – WHO.” 

“We can best address these human-rights abuses by centring our response around rights themselves — an approach set out in my Call to Action on Human Rights, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The pandemic has squeezed developing economies dry. Many face debt defaults. Few will be able to invest in a strong and sustainable recovery”, he then added. 

The education has now become a ‘crisis within crisis’, the UN Secretary-General added, while highlighting the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on education. 

Following the above-mentioned statement, he added, “The recovery is an opportunity for targeted investments in women’s education, employment, training and decent work, to make up ground lost during a pandemic”.  

Apart from this, other significant matters of concern were also addressed by Guterres, including climate change, noting that, “Let’s be clear: A few countries are trampling on the rights of the rest of the world. A few companies are reaping rich rewards while ignoring the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable”. 

 

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Tariq Saeed

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