The changing face of International Geneva

Inside Geneva: challenges for the new UN Human Rights chief

This week on the Inside Geneva podcast, host Imogen Foulkes has an in-depth conversation with Volker Türk, the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

This content was published on February 7, 2023

“I have had a lifelong commitment to the human rights cause,” says Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, about what attracted him to a job some call the UN’s toughest.

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 75 in 2023. Where do we stand?

“We’re losing the essence of what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was and was meant to be in response to cataclysmic events during the Second World War,” Türk says. “In so many situations around the world there is once again this contempt for the other, the contempt for the human being, the contempt for human dignity,” he adds.

A UN report points to grave rights violations committed by China against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. What can the UN Human Rights Office do about it?

“It’s a very important report that was issued. It has raised very serious, very pressing human rights concerns, and it is my duty to follow up on them with the Chinese authorities,” Türk says.

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For more audio content from SWI, explore The Swiss Connection, a podcast with Swiss stories for the world.

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