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Top UN officials, member-states urged to remove China from Rights officers-appointing body

Mr. Jiang Duan, who holds the rank of Minister at China’s mission to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, will play a key role in selecting the world body’s monitors on health, freedom of speech, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances. (Photo courtesy: UN Watch)

(TibetanReview.net, Apr17’20) – A total of 82 organizations and associations have petitioned top United Nations officers as well as 55 nominating governments, calling for the cancellation of the appointment of China to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s Consultative Group that will select at least 17 UN human rights mandate-holders who investigate, watch over, and publicly report on violations. “We cannot let a fox guard the henhouse,” they have said in their petition, calling the appointment a subversion of the UN human rights system.

The appointment made Mr Jiang Duan, Minister at the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China, Geneva, part of the five-member Consultative Group of the Human Rights Council from Apr 1 2020 to Mar 31, 2021, noted Tibet Bureau Geneva Apr 17.

The Consultative Group plays a key role in the appointment of independent human rights experts under the special procedure of the UNHRC. In substance, the petition said that “with this appointment, China will be able to weaken the 17 Special Procedures which are due for fresh appointments eventually subverting the entire system of special procedures. We cannot let a fox guard the henhouse.”

The petition, drafted mainly by groups from Central and Eastern Europe, has been submitted to the UN Secretary General Mr Antonio Guterres, Chair of the General Assembly’s Third Committee Mr Christian Braun, President of the UNHRC Ms Elisabeth Tichy- Fisslberger, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Michelle Bachelet.

It has also been submitted to each of the 55 member-states of the Asia-Pacific regional group which nominated China to the consultative group for their share of representation in the group.

Each of the regional groups – namely the African Group, Asia-Pacific Group, Eastern European Group, Latin American and Caribbean Group and Western European and Others Group – make a nomination to the Consultative Group.

The petition highlighted a panoply of human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese government which had targeted and continued to target Covid-19 whistleblowers and its misinformation about the global pandemic that has plunged the world into unprecedented chaos and deaths.

The petition called China’s appointment a discouraging message to all the Tibetans who have been raising their voices against the oppressive Chinese regime in their more than six decades of struggle and who continue to pin their hopes on the UN.

“It also dampens the spirit of the Chinese Human rights Defenders, the Uyghurs, Southern-Mongolians and the Hong-Kong pro-democracy advocates who are putting their lives at risk for basic rights of their people against the self-serving interests of Chinese Communist Party Government.”

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