Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – The Human Rights Council opened its fifty-fourth regular session, holding a minute of silence for the victims of the earthquake in Morocco, and hearing a global update by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
At the request of Gambia, the Council held a minute of silence for the victims of the earthquake in Morocco. Morocco thanked all for this touching gesture of solidarity and compassion shown in honour of the innocent victims of the earthquake.
Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said development issues underlined almost every challenge the international community faced. People everywhere had a right to a decent standard of living, including food, access to affordable medical care, education, economic prospects, a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and justice and police systems which upheld their rights. But time and again, people were deprived of these rights. Climate change was pushing millions of people into famine. Urgent action was needed now. Instead of unity, the world was seeing the politics of division and distraction.
Mr. Türk was shocked at the more than 2,300 people reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean this year, including the loss of more than 600 lives in a single shipwreck off Greece in June. It was evident that far more migrants and refugees were dying, unnoticed, in the seas around Europe, along the United States-Mexican border, or at the border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the Office was seeking urgent clarification about allegations of killings and mistreatment.
The Human Rights Council also held an interactive dialogue with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the report of his Office on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan,
Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said human rights in Afghanistan were in a state of collapse, acutely affecting the lives of millions of women, men, girls and boys. Violations of human rights in the country were not new: decades of armed conflict meant that Afghanistan had known violence and injustice for much of its recent history. and two thirds of the population now in need of assistance.
Concluding, Mr. Türk said the international community could not turn its back on the people of Afghanistan. This was a human rights crisis of the first order. He encouraged States proactively to help address the challenges facing the Afghan economy.