China Wins at UN Human Rights Council: Resolution on Uighur Region Voted

© AFP

An attempt to put a debate on the situation of the Uyghurs on the agenda of the UN Human Rights Council failed on Thursday. Nineteen member states voted against and only seventeen member states voted in favor of the motion. Another 11 did not vote. Especially Western countries insisted on holding a discussion on this matter.

Source: Belga

In September, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report on serious human rights violations in Xinjiang, the Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China. According to the report, there is widespread and arbitrary detention. Reports of systematic torture and ill-treatment are also called credible. The Uyghurs and other Muslim communities in the region are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses. The report was the first comprehensive UN report on the situation.

The United States, United Kingdom, Norway and others submitted a draft resolution to place the report on the agenda of the next UN Human Rights Council meeting in spring 2023. So that resolution was rejected on Thursday. At the time of the vote, China was supported by countries including Venezuela, Cuba, Pakistan and Qatar.

Not off the table

However, this issue is still not completely off the table. Volker Dürk, the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, is still likely to present a report to the Human Rights Council himself. His predecessor, Michelle Bachelet, made the announcement shortly before midnight on August 31 when she resigned. Turk will take office on October 17.

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China has rejected allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Beijing says it is fighting terrorism and ensuring development in the region.

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