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The European Union warmly welcomes the appointment of Michelle Bachelet as the next UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Mme Bachelet's distinguished record of public service, both to her country and to the international community, will provide a strong foundation for her endeavours as High Commissioner to further the protection and promotion of human rights across the globe. Her profound understanding of the centrality of human rights – gained through her political attainments, personal experience of human rights violations, service as a doctor and contribution to the work of UN Women and the World Health Organisation – will find an articulation in her new role.
The European Union will do all it can to support the new High Commissioner and her Office in the fulfilment of her mandate. Support from the international community is all the more needed in these challenging times for human rights, as exemplified by shrinking civil society space, reprisals against human rights defenders, a failure to respect the human rights of all without discrimination, the prevalence of torture and profound shortcomings in the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights. All members of the international community should do their utmost to extend political and financial support to the new High Commissioner and her office.
The European Union takes this opportunity to recall the tireless commitment and service that H.E Zeid al-Hussein has shown throughout his four year tenure. We reiterate our support for this mandate and Office and its independence, and stand ready to continue to cooperate closely to promote and protect human rights at all levels.