Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard will be attending the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York between 19 and 23 September. Ahead of her visit, Agnès Callamard said:
“Armed conflict, food shortages, deepening inequalities and the mounting climate emergency are testing the effectiveness of the international community like never before. Everywhere we turn today lies evidence of failings of the past: civilians from Ukraine to Ethiopia dying in their thousands while the perpetrators of war crimes walk free, huge swathes of Pakistan underwater, and millions of people worldwide on the brink of famine.
“Instead of alleviating the suffering caused by conflicts, members of the UN Security Council have allowed rampant abuse of the veto power to exacerbate it. This tragic betrayal of the Security Council’s mandate is but one example of the UN’s failures to rise above politics and national self-interest. This week we need bold, coordinated action from UN member states, who must show global leadership and live up to the principles on which the UN is founded. Global problems of the scale we are now confronting can only be addressed through global solutions.”
During her time in New York, Agnès Callamard will call on UN member states to seek pathways to accountability for violations including:
- Violations of international humanitarian law and war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine;
- War crimes and abuses that may amount to crimes against humanity by parties to the conflict in northern Ethiopia and forces allied to them;
- The ongoing campaign of atrocities unleashed by the Myanmar military in Rakhine state, and the military’s brutal crackdown on opposition to the 2021 coup.
She will also call on member states to:
- Resist efforts to stifle attempts to hold Israeli authorities accountable for the apartheid regime they have inflicted on Palestinians;
- Address the dire humanitarian situations in Yemen, Myanmar and Syria;
- Take coordinated action to assist countries most impacted by the mounting effects of the climate emergency;
- Address structural inequality through rights-based, inclusive and fair policies and actions, including strengthening cooperation on global tax reform, and providing urgent and sustainable debt relief for the lowest-income countries.
Earlier this month, Volker Türk was appointed as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ahead of UNGA 77, Amnesty International reiterated its call on High Commissioner Türk to fulfil his mandate by being a vocal champion of human rights, with the courage and principles to stand up to powerful states and withstand political pressure. He must also support civil society’s role in informing and shaping human rights positions and responses by the international community.
The 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 77) opened on Tuesday, 13 September 2022. The first day of the high-level General Debate will be Tuesday, 20 September 2022.
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