NEW YORK, October 3 (IPS) – This week is an important one for the world’s leading human rights agency. At stake is a resolution to decide whether the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva can hold a debate on a recently published UN report.
The report concluded that human rights violations by the Chinese government in its Xinjiang region ‘could constitute international crimes, especially crimes against humanity’.
It is not surprising that the Chinese government is doing everything it can to draw up a plan to contest the content of the report. Its tactics include intimidating smaller states, spreading misinformation, and politicizing genuine human rights concerns – the very thing the Human Rights Council was set up to redress.
The historical report asserts that the rights of the Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang are being violated through a program of mass detention, systematic torture and industrial-level sexual violence. attracted much controversy before it was published on 31 August 2022, minutes before the end of the term of outgoing High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.
The report was supposed to be ready by September 2021 but pressure was so great from the Chinese state that it took almost another year to air. Nonsense, the 46-page report includes a 122 pages of appendices in the form of a rebuttal given by China, rejecting the findings and calling for the authorization of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Office of the High Commissioner confirmed that the report was based on a rigorous review of documentary evidence with its reliability assessed in accordance with standard human rights methodology. The report’s recommendations are quite simple: expeditious steps should be taken to release all arbitrarily detained people in Xinjiang, a full legal review of national security should be carried out, and counter-terrorism policies, and launched a formal investigation into alleged human rights violations in camps and detention facilities.
However, a proposed resolution to hold a debate over the report’s content in early 2023 is facing serious setbacks. Several countries on and off the Human Rights Council, united by their shared history of rampant human rights abuses – such as Cuba, Egypt, Laos, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia – United States, Syria and Venezuela – rallied China’s defense in informal negotiations on a brief resolution.
The most worrying thing is that China seems to be relying on the smaller nations that make up the The Human Rights Council consists of 47 members by overturning arguments about the politicization of global human rights issues and seeing itself as the victim of a Western plot to undermine its sovereignty.
If China gets its way, it would be a huge setback for the Human Rights Council, which was established in 2006 as a representative body of nations designed to fix shortcomings. about the ‘reputation and lack of professionalism’ damaged the work of the body it replaced, the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, during the groundbreaking Greater freedom reports, lamenting that countries seek membership ‘not to promote human rights but to protect themselves against criticism or criticism of others’.
Human Rights Council members are expected to uphold the highest standards in the protection and promotion of human rights. But our research at CIVICUS shows that eight out of 47 Council members have the worst possible citizen space conditions for human rights defenders and their organizations to survive. In these countries – Cameroon, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Libya, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan – human rights are frequently abused and anyone who has the courage to speak the truth first. power is constantly persecuted.
Massive human rights abuse regimes may be promoted to prevent the results of investigations from being shown internationally, but the international community has a collective responsibility to victims. Civil society groups are urging Human Rights Council members to stand firm in the face of calls to debate China’s report.
Human Rights Council member states that affirm the importance of human rights and democracy in their foreign policy are expected to vote in favor. However, the influence of regional and geopolitical blocs within the Council means that the issue will essentially be resolved by the decision of countries such as Argentina, Armenia, Benin, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Senegal, Ukraine and Qatar.
China will certainly pressure these countries to try to get them to oppose or abstain from any vote to promote justice for the Uighurs.
The stakes are particularly high for China’s arbitration leader, Xi Jinping, who is seeking to declare himself president for a third term – following the abolition of term limits in 2018 – at the congress. Communist Party of China, started on October 16.
Acknowledging the systematic abuses that Mr. Xi’s administration has inflicted on the people of Uyghur would be seen as an international humiliation to his growing power.
If China gains the upper hand in the Human Rights Council, it will be another blow to the legitimacy of the United Nations, which is already reeling because the UN Security Council cannot overcome its veto power. permanent member of Russia to prevent action against Invasion of Ukraine. A lot – for the sake of the UN’s reputation, and for the hope that human rights violators, no matter how powerful, will be held accountable – are on the ballot.
Mandeep S. Tiwanais program director and represents the United Nations at the global civil society alliance, CIVICUS.
IPS UN Office
© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service