US slams UN for electing authoritarian regimes like China at UNHRC

WASHINGTON: The United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, on Tuesday, slammed the United Nations for electing “authoritarian regimes” like China, Russia and Cuba into the UN Human Rights Council adding that the US’ decision to withdraw from the council has been “validated”.

Pompeo in the statement accused the global human rights council of “anti-Israel bias and membership rules that allow the election of the world’s worst human rights abusers to seats on the Council.

“After our exit, the United States has urged UN member states to take immediate action to reform the Council before it became irreparable. Unfortunately, those calls went unheeded, and today the UN General Assembly once again elected countries with abhorrent human rights records, including China, Russia, and Cuba. Venezuela was elected in 2019,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“These elections only further validate the US decision to withdraw and use other venues and opportunities to protect and promote universal human rights,” the US Secretary of State said.

Pompeo further said that the US’ commitment to human rights consists of far “more than just words” adding, that the US “is a force for good in the world, and always will be.”

“The United States’ commitment to human rights consists of far more than just words. Through the State Department’s action, we have punished human rights abusers in Xinjiang, Myanmar, Iran, and elsewhere. Our commitments are spelled out clearly in the UN’s Declaration, and in our record of action. The United States is a force for good in the world, and always will be,” he added.

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday elected Russia, China, Cuba and 12 other countries to serve as members of the UN Human Rights Council for three-year terms starting January 1, 2021.

This year, elections to the Human Rights Council saw 16 candidates from four regional groups – African, Asia-Pacific, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean and Western European – competing for a seat at the Geneva-based body. To be elected, a country needed to obtain the required majority of 97 votes, Sputnik reported.

Russia received 159 votes in favor and will join the Eastern European group along with Ukraine that was re-elected for a second term with 166 votes in support. China collected 139 votes and will be serving at the council along with Nepal, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

About 7 per cent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, has been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to US officials and UN experts.

Classified documents known as the China Cables, accessed last year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, threw light on how the Chinese government uses technology to control Uyghur Muslims worldwide.

However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training. People in the internment camps have described being subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and denial of food and medicine, and say they have been prohibited from practising their religion or speaking their language. (ANI)