Citing a rise in extreme poverty, inequalities and injustice in the last 18 months, Bachelet also warned that democratic and civic space has been eroded.
These were all problems that could be addressed if countries embraced the UN Secretary-General’s call for a New Social Contract, Bachelet said, on the opening day of the Human Rights Council’s 47th session in Geneva.
"These are bold steps that place unprecedented emphasis on the power of human rights to ensure sound and inclusive development, sustainable peace, and societies grounded in trust," Bachelet added.
Bachelet acknowleded that many countries were facing collapsing global trade, falling remittances, turmoil in commodities prices and debt burdens.
Nonetheless, Bachelet, who is a former two-time President of Chile, also said that it was possible to deliver on economic and social rights by using proven techniques to combat corruption and illicit financial flows, deploying progressive fiscal policies and increasing budget transparency, participation and accountability.
"The evidence is conclusive: countries that had invested in social protection have been better able to weather the crisis," she said.