The UN Board of Human Rights is set to elect five new countries to the council; Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Cuba, and Pakistan. These five countries are also well known for their continual abuse of Human Rights. The Geneva-based monitoring Non-Governmental Organization UN Watch described the situation as; allowing five convicted arsonists to join the fire department.
Currently, the United Nations has fifteen three-year term vacancies on the 47 member council. The seats are grouped into five regions, and the one being contested is Asia and the Pacific. A candidate can only be defeated if fewer than 97 countries positively vote for them in the secret ballot at the UN general assembly in New York.
Yang Jinanli, the President of Citizen Power Initiatives for China and a former political prisoner, said, “China was involved in the annihilation of political freedom in Hong Kong. By any standards, China has grossly abused the UN human rights founding principles. If this were an election for a UN human rights abusers council, it would be more than proper to vote for China, since it leads the world in violating human rights.”
Yang continued, democracies have a duty to vote against Beijing. Further, the victims of human rights abuses in China deserved to know how those democracies voted in the secret ballot.
Rosa María Payá, a Cuban human rights activist and daughter of the murdered dissident Oswaldo Payá, claimed that “Cuba uses the seat to protect their impunity, making sure the multiple accusations against them and criminal friends in Venezuela, China, Russia, and Belarus do not prosper. These groups act in gangs conspiring together to cover up the facts and empty the human rights council of content and effectiveness.”
Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian dissident who was twice poisoned, said seasoned UN watchers were rarely surprised, pointing out that regimes in Libya, Sudan, and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had in the past been elected to the council.
“Yet we still find it astonishing that Russia is considered a legitimate candidate, let alone that it is likely to be elected,” he said. “It has … been confirmed … that [the Russian opposition leader] Alexei Navalny has been poisoned by a highly controlled military-grade nerve agent produced by the Russian state that has been used for years by the Russian security services, leaving no doubt who was behind this attack.”
Two years ago, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the council because the council had failed to stop the continual abuse of human rights around the world. Further, according to the Trump administration, the UN held strong bias and continually protected abusers, which was the reason for the United States’ departure from the council. In fact, one of the main reasons the US departed the council was because of the onslaught against Christians the world over.
The United Nations has failed miserably to assist those being persecuted by tyrannical regimes; now, they are allowing those same regimes to join the board for Human Rights.