In final charge to UN rights council, top official urges universal protections for all

In her last opening statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council, outgoing High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stressed today the benefit to all countries of ensuring universal protection of individuals and groups from abuse, even if it means the countries are then subject to criticism.

Reforms to Inter-American System must fully protect victims – UN rights chief

A United Nations senior official today stressed that reforms to the Inter-American System for protection of human rights must not weaken its capacity to protect victims.

Senior UN official recounts ‘daunting year’ for human rights

The top United Nations human rights official today highlighted the work being carried out by her office to tackle numerous crises worldwide, and stressed the need to put people first and ensure that human rights remains a priority on the global agenda.

Donors urged to invest more in UN human rights work

The United Nations human rights office will not be able to effectively respond to ongoing challenges unless donors contribute the $130.4 million needed this year, a top official said today, calling for greater investment in this critical area of the Organization’s work.

Top UN human rights official urges Zimbabwe’s president to ensure peaceful elections

On her first-ever visit to Zimbabwe, the top United Nations human rights official has urged President Robert Mugabe to ensure that the country’s next elections will be free and fair and held in a peaceful atmosphere.

UN rights chief says Maldives must take further steps on path to democracy

The Maldives has made "significant advances" during the first few years of its transition to democracy, but a large gap still exists between the rhetoric and the reality on the ground, the United Nations human rights chief said today.

Governments must make health of older people a priority, says UN rights chief

With the number of people aged over 60 expected to reach 2 billion by 2050, or more than a fifth of the total global population, discrimination against old persons should rank among the most pressing policy issues for governments and societies, the United Nations human rights chief said today.

Homophobic hate crimes on the rise, UN human rights chief warns

The UN human rights chief has urged governments to do more to eliminate discrimination and prejudice against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people.

National bodies key to safeguarding of basic human rights – UN official

National human rights institutions play a key role in maintaining the rule of law, preventing abuses and assisting victims of violations, the United Nations rights chief said today, citing the political unrest in North Africa and Middle East as an example of the need to ensure respect for people’s liberties.

UN human rights chief condemns widespread attacks on religious minorities

The top United Nations human rights official today condemned the recent attacks on religious groups in various countries, and urged States to show determination to combat such violence and to scrap discriminatory laws and practices affecting religious minorities.