Date: Feb 16, 2023 Type: Country: ,

Amnesty Secretary General challenges world leaders ahead of Munich Security Conference

Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard will be attending the Munich Security Conference this weekend, where she will be demanding that ministers, heads of state and military leaders put the protection of human rights at the heart of their approaches to security.

“The atrocities committed in the course of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine should have come as no surprise. For decades now major powers have flouted international law with impunity and shielded their allies from accountability. The result is conflicts and crises rife with human rights violations in every corner of the world: from Ukraine to Ethiopia, Myanmar to Yemen, Mali to Venezuela, Syria to DRC, Iraq to Palestine and Iran, people are suffering because the international community is failing victims.

“Leaders attending this weekend must look beyond individual battlegrounds and acknowledge the bigger picture at play. Conflicts; trade wars; a renewed armaments-race creating more ways to kill; technology and human rights abuses under the pretext of security; cruel economics taking hold, to the climate crisis stoking the fire. Our international system is on the brink of collapse.

“International relations are being reshaped as power dynamics shift. The rules of the game have changed. Increasingly international law is defied without consequence.

“The Munich Security Conference must be prepared to answer difficult questions about how we got to this point. It must address the hard truth that the international community – and particularly the permanent members of the UN Security Council — has been failing to uphold international law for years. Impunity has bred further crimes and violations, emboldening others to flout their human rights obligations. Leaders must recognise that their narrowly defined interests and failed policies have contributed to this cycle of mass atrocities, conflict and human suffering if there is to be any hope of establishing a just system capable of preventing, stopping and redressing the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.”

Agnès Callamard will be attending Munich Security Conference from 17th February. She will be available for media interviews on a range of human rights issues including:

  • Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, war crimes and paths to justice and accountability
  • Impact of the climate crisis on human rights and security
  • The state of human rights in Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • The use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas
  • Corporate sector’s role in violations in conflict
  • Technology companies’ complicity in human rights abuses under the pretext of security
  • State obligations to protect human rights in security and defence uses of technology
  • UN Security Council reform
  • The state of human rights in Iran
  • Conflict in Ethiopia and Myanmar


For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

For interviews, please contact