The incoming UN Secretary General, who will be elected later this year and who will take up the post in January 2017, will inherit an organization that has achieved much but is in desperate need of reinvigoration, Amnesty International says. The organization is calling for UN member states and the UN Security Council to show brave new thinking in moving towards reform, starting with the process by which it elects a new Secretary General.
“UN member states have an historic opportunity this year to reinvigorate the organization by supporting a strong candidate for Secretary General with the commitment, personal fortitude and vision needed to push back against any states bent on undermining human rights at home and internationally,” said Salil Shetty.
To achieve this, Amnesty International says the election process must be fair and transparent and ensure that the views of candidates on the major human rights challenges facing the UN are known and understood.
Call to action
“The world today is facing many challenges which, at their source, have been created or prolonged by governments who have played politics with people’s lives. Refugees are suffering in their millions as conflicts proliferate, and armed groups deliberately attack civilians and commit other grave abuses,” said Salil Shetty.
“It is within world leaders’ power to prevent these crises from spiralling further out of control. Governments must halt their assault on our rights and strengthen the defences the world has put in place to protect them. Human rights are a necessity, not an accessory; and the stakes for humankind have never been higher.”
Amnesty International has documented grave violations of economic and social and political and civil rights in 2015 in many countries.
Examples of national attacks on human rights and the institutions which are there to protect them include, but are by no means limited, to: