Tag «Gerardo»

Top UN rights official pledges to serve those denied protection from rights

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Mr. Vieira de Mello said the task before him was enormous, as he was taking over the post at a very delicate time for human rights. “My job will require speaking out to turn the world’s attention to abuses,” he said. “But it also requires tact and political acumen, as well as the ability to roll up one’s sleeves and get down to work to protect human rights away from the spotlights.”The end goal – “the promotion and protection of human rights for all” – must always be kept in sight, he said.Responding to questions about alleged human rights violations committed by governments under the pretext of the war against terrorism, the High Commissioner said he would continue to raise the issue with the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, as his predecessor Mary Robinson had done, so that the measures adopted did not infringe on the rights of individuals.”To an exceptional threat, often exceptional measures are required,” he said. “What I have said is that these exceptional measures must be taken in transparency, respecting the fact that there are certain fundamental rights which are non-derogable, and that these measures should be of short duration.”Turning to the recent upsurge of violence in the Middle East, Mr. Vieira de Mello said, “I hope that we will revert immediately to this six-week period of relative peace and get down to the real job, let the [diplomatic] Quartet continue.”Asked if he would adopt a lower profile than Mrs. Robinson, who was often an outspoken critic of governments, Mr. Vieira de Mello said he would weigh the need for speaking up depending on the situation; other circumstances might call for more quiet diplomacy. “Judge me on the basis of results, not on style,” he said. read more