“Chauvinistic nationalism is the polar opposite of the UN, its very antonym and enemy.” – Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Opening statement and global update of human rights concerns by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at 38th session of the Human Rights Council
The original speech of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the 38th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council can be read at the OHCHR website <https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23206&LangID=E
STATEMENT FROM DR NIMALKA FERNANDO – IMADR
I have been involved in human rights activism for over 30 years. Our work with Geneva became an integral part in my activism since 2000 with regular visits to Geneva and close engagement with the OHCHR. The engagement began with the World Conference Against racism held in Durban.
I have been privileged to work with almost all the High Commissioners since then on a wide range of issues from country to thematic specific issues. I have also had the honour to learn from them the courage and dedication of leadership.
As you bid farewell to us High Commissioner Zeid we commend your courage and dedication and affirm to struggle remembering YOUR MESSAGE to us
“Is it not the case, for example, that historically, the most destructive force to imperil the world has been chauvinistic nationalism – when raised to feral extremes by self-serving, callous leaders, and amplified by mass ideologies which themselves repress freedom. The UN was conceived in order to prevent its rebirth. Chauvinistic nationalism is the polar opposite of the UN, it’s very antonym and enemy. So why are we so submissive to its return? Why are we in the UN so silent?
The UN’s raison d’être is the protection of peace, rights, justice and social progress. Its operating principle is therefore equally clear: only by pursuing the opposite to nationalism – only
When States all work for each other, for everyone, for all people, for the human rights of all people – can peace be attainable.”
19th June 2018