U.S. Statement on the Appointment of Volker Turk as High Commissioner for Human Rights

Ambassador Lisa Carty
U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, NY
September 8, 2022


Thank you. The United States welcomes the appointment of Volker Turk as the next United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mr. Turk’s commitment to promoting and protecting human rights around the world is already evident through his distinguished career in the UN system, including in his most recent role as the Secretary General’s Under Secretary General for Policy, as well as his work on refugee and humanitarian issues.

The role of the high commissioner for human rights is one of the most critical positions in the UN system. The High Commissioner must serve as an independent, impartial, and unwavering voice for human rights issues around the world. At a time when civil and political rights are increasingly under attack and the principles of the UN Declaration of Human Rights continue to be flouted, the High Commissioner must be willing to call out human rights violations and abuses wherever they occur.

The High Commissioner has a duty to reaffirm the universal values enshrined in the UN Charter as well as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, through his work with the special procedures, treaty bodies, and the Universal Periodic Review as well as civil society and human rights defenders around the world.

We find ourselves at a time where human rights violations continue to increase on a global level – Mr. Turk has a challenging road ahead of him, but he can count on the full support of the United States as he undertakes the immensely important work of safeguarding and defending human rights across the globe.