[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] urged global leaders Tuesday to commit to ensuring [press release] the protection of human rights and an end to mass atrocities. The Secretary-General spoke positively of progress that has been made in holding perpetrators of genocide accountable for their actions, especially with the creation of various international criminal tribunals in countries such as Rwanda and Cambodia. He also spoke to what he considered to be failures of the UN Security Council, including certain inaction and withdrawals of peacekeeping operations in Rwanda and Srebrenica. The Secretary-General described an exercise that puts the prevention of human rights violations at the forefront of the UN's efforts [UN News Centre Report], by telling leaders of member states what they need to hear regarding emerging human rights crisis situations.
Human rights violations continue to occur regularly in a number of countries. Last week Human Rights Watch urged EU leaders [JURIST report] to publicly raise concerns about the diminishing support for human rights issues in China under President Xi Jinping [BBC profile]. Earlier in March during her first visit to Nigeria, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay praised [JURIST report] the country for the significant development in protecting human rights, while urging further protection against conflict, poverty and corruption. In February Pillay condemned [JURIST report] the recent political violence in Venezuela, and urged all parties involved to move towards meaningful dialogue in hopes of resolving the situation. Also in February Pillay prompted [JURIST report] Central African Republic (CAR) leaders to remember their legal obligations and stressed that they are personally accountable for human rights violations or crimes against humanity resulting from their actions or omissions.