UN Human Rights Chief travels to Middle East amid Gaza escalation

Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

© APA | Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

# 07 November 2023 13:54 (UTC +04:00)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk today begins a five-day visit to the Middle East region, amid Israel’s escalation in Gaza, in response to the attacks on it on 7 and 8 October, and the wider context of 56 years of occupation of the Palestinian territories, APA reports citing the UN.

Türk is in Cairo today and will visit Rafah – on the border with Gaza – tomorrow, before travelling to Amman on Thursday.

Türk has also sought access to Israel, the Occupied West Bank as well as Gaza.

“It has been one full month of carnage, of incessant suffering, bloodshed, destruction, outrage and despair,” Türk said. “Human rights violations are at the root of this escalation and human rights play a central role in finding a way out of this vortex of pain.”

Türk is in the region to engage with Government officials, civil society actors, victims and UN colleagues on the human rights situation in the region. This visit takes place against the backdrop of the ongoing, extremely serious human rights and humanitarian crisis.

In Cairo today, the High Commissioner will meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, as well as representatives of regional civil society organisations, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. On Wednesday, Türk will travel to Rafah, in the east of the country, bordering the Gaza Strip.

In Amman on Thursday and Friday, Türk is scheduled to meet the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, other senior Government officials, as well as Palestinian and Israeli civil society representatives and the UN Country Team for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The High Commissioner will hold a press stakeout near the Rafah crossing on Wednesday, as well as a press conference in Amman on Saturday, 11 November.