(TibetanReview.net, Oct14’20) – Despite vigorous and concerted opposition from human rights organizations around the world, the UN General Assembly on Oct 13 elected China to the 47-member UN Human Right Council, Geneva, at its 75th annual session. The council monitors and discusses human rights situations around the world and makes recommendations for improvement thereon.
The election takes place annually for staggered three-year terms and the voting on Oct 13 was to fill 15 of the council’s total of 47 seats. Members are elected by secret ballot from their regional groupings. With only five contenders for four seats from the Asia-Pacific region, China came fourth with 139 votes.
A press release issued by the Chinese mission to the United Nations made it clear, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency Oct 13, that it will “oppose the politicization of human rights issues and wrong practices of double standards to make greater contributions to the healthy development of international human rights.”
China considers any criticism of its human rights record an interference in its internal affairs and therefore political.
Also elected with China with higher numbers of votes from the same grouping were Pakistan (169), Uzbekistan (164), and Nepal (150).
China campaigned vigorously for the seat and got elected despite the fact that in Jun 2020, more than 50 UN experts and expert bodies called for an independent monitoring mechanism and a special session of the Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.
Besides, during the ongoing General Assembly session, 39 states joined a statement on the human rights situation in China and referred to the situations in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.
China was previously elected to the council in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2020. Members cannot serve for more than two consecutive terms.