“As my term as High Commissioner draws to a close, this Council’s milestone fiftieth session will be the last which I brief,” she said in a surprise announcement at the end of a wide-ranging speech to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.
Later, she said the decision was not related to the trip, adding that she intended to return to Chile and spend time with her family.
“Two months ago, before even going to China, I made a decision and I informed my boss, the Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres). So it has no relationship,” she told reporters.
Some diplomats said they had expected Bachelet, a former president of Chile, to stay on after her four-year term expires later in August. There was murmuring in the Geneva Council room when she made the announcement.
China denies all accusations of abuse there.
“It will be shared with the government for factual comments before publication,” she said of her report, which was due to be published months ago. Asked about the timing, Bachelet said it would be released before her term ends.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch called her China trip an “unmitigated disaster” and criticized Bachelet for using China’s term “VETCs,” for vocational education and training centers, to describe mass detention facilities in Xinjiang.
She repeated the term in her speech on Monday.
On the rights situation in Russia, she said the arbitrary arrest of a large number of protesters there opposed to the invasion of Ukraine was “worrying.”
Bachelet also raised concern about abortion restrictions, referring to the US where the Supreme Court is expected to strike down a landmark ruling on nationwide abortion rights.