Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the Appointment of Volker Turk as High Commissioner for Human Rights

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
San Francisco, California
September 8, 2022


I welcome the UN Secretary General’s appointment of Volker Turk as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mr. Turk has had a distinguished career at the UN, where he has long championed the protection of human rights around the world, most recently in his role as the Secretary General’s Under Secretary General for Policy and in his field experience in Asia and the Balkans.

The role of the high commissioner for human rights is one of the most critical high-level positions in the UN system. At a time when these rights are increasingly under attack, the High Commissioner’s responsibility must be to call out human rights violations and abuses wherever they occur, and to serve as an independent, impartial, and unwavering champion for human rights everywhere.

As I made clear today in a speech at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco – where the UN Charter was drafted – we must work to ensure universal human rights have meaning everywhere.

We believe all Security Council Members and Member States have a sacred responsibility to uphold these rights, both at home and abroad. And we look forward to working with the new High Commissioner to vigorously defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.