Michelle Bachelet to return to Chile when UN post ends

Former president Michelle Bachelet announced on Monday, June 13, that she would not be seeking a second term as UN High Commissioner of Human Rights. Bachelet said she wants to come home and spend time with her family. Current Chilean president Gabriel Boric welcomed her decision to return to Chile.

Michelle Bachelet, who has served the past five years as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, will not be seeking a second term. The former Chilean president announced her decision on Monday, June 13, on Twitter, “I will not seek a second term for personal reasons. It is time to return to Chile and be with family. I urge countries to identify common ground to achieve solutions to our shared human rights challenges,” she wrote.

Chilean’s current president, Gabriel Boric, welcomed her announcement, replying, “Welcome back.”

The newly-elected president of the Socialist Party Paulina Vodanovic also welcomed the decision, telling Radio Cooperativa she hoped Bachelet will play an active role in the Apruebo-campaign for the referendum on the new Constitution on Sept. 4.

In recent weeks, Bachelet has been under heavy criticism for her unofficial visit to the Chinese Xinjiang-region, where Chinese authorities are said to be detaining and torturing the Islamic Uyghur-minority on a large scale. Bachelet said her decision had nothing to do with that controversial trip. “I am no longer a young woman and after a long and enriching career, I wish to return to my country and my family,” she wrote to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

According to El Dinamo, Bachelet’s stay in New York and being far away from family felt like a sacrifice. When her mother passed away during the pandemic in 2020, people close to Bachelet said she lamented not being with her mother in her mother’s final weeks.

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