Jun 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

UN human rights chief opts not to seek second term

Michele Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet addresses the media on the opening day of the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva on June 13. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet announced on Monday that she won't seek a second term.

Why it matters: The announcement comes amid blowback by genocide scholars and rights advocates criticizing Bachelet for her visit to China's Xinjiang region last month, which ended with Bachelet repeating, rather than denouncing, Chinese government propaganda about an ongoing genocide there.

The big picture: "As my term as High Commissioner draws to a close, this Council’s milestone fiftieth session will be the last which I brief," Bachelet said during opening remarks before the Human Rights Council on Monday.

  • Bachelet addressed her recent visit to China, saying that during the trip she "raised concerns regarding the human rights situation of the Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, including broad arbitrary detention and patterns of abuse."
  • She confirmed that she won't seek a second term.

What to watch: Bachelet's current term ends on Aug. 31.

Go deeper