To Know – To Act – To Understand
To Know – To Act – To Understand

”TRY COUNTING YOUR MONEY WHILE HOLDING YOUR BREATH”

Opening Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council25 February 2019


‘…there was rarely a serious gap between the interest of humanity, and the national interest of my country…’

‘…Today, we sometimes hear human rights being dismissed as supposedly “globalist” – as opposed to the patriotic interest of a sovereign government. But how can any State’s interests be advanced by policies that damage the well-being of all humans?

This is true of climate change. You may know the saying: if you think economic interests are more important than the environment, try counting your money while holding your breath.  …’


‘…Where leaders have the foresight to see the advantages of human rights-based policies, and the political will to advance them, we will be eager to bring practical assistance. Our technical cooperation programmes and policy guidance – which benefit from careful human rights monitoring and analysis – will have powerful effect.
I know that in today’s political landscape, the will is not always there. In some countries, important human rights advances are being dismantled – for example, on the rights of women, of minorities and of indigenous peoples….’