There has been much backlash against this decision.
On 1 April, Chinese official was appointed to a United Nations Human Rights Council panel.
China’s delegate, Mr Jiang Duan, will be the member serving on this Consultative Group of the Human Rights Council. He will be representing the Asia-Pacific States, one of the five regional groups on the panel.
China will now assist in selecting human rights investigators on an array of different issues. These include freedom of speech, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and health.
This means that China will be able to influence the selection of at least 17 UN human rights mandate-holders who investigate, monitor and publicly report issues.
Whilst the notice states that the members are serving in their “personal capacity”, it is widely accepted that country representatives follow instructions from their respective governments. This is especially the case for governments with an authoritarian regime.
Commentators and human rights activists all around the world have critiqued this decision.
UN Watch’s executive director, Hillel Neuer, has said: “Allowing China’s oppressive and inhumane regime to choose the world investigators on freedom of speech, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief.”
Neuer added: “It’s absurd and immoral for the UN to allow China’s oppressive government a key role in selecting officials who shape international human rights standards and report on violations worldwide.”
This appointment went ahead despite the evidence that China itself regularly fails to meet international human rights standards.
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