Instead of chastising China for its numerous Human Rights violations, the United Nations has once again turned a blind eye, this time appointing China to an important panel of the Human Rights Council. While this is not a seat at the Human Rights Council itself (a three-year rotating position that China has frequently held and only just left in 2019), the panel acts as a consultative group. This group recommends candidates to fill positions related to human rights.
This newest appointment feels particularly ironic as the world struggles to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis which could have been avoided, or at least greatly reduced, if China had been honest about the outbreak and taken proper measures to contain it. China’s instead chosen response – limiting speech and causing uncooperative individuals to “disappear”– goes directly against the rights it’s supposedly protecting.
Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, responded to the appointment saying:
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.
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.
The news of China’s nomination has sparked criticism from various political figures, including Nikki Haley, former US Ambassador to the UN:
China’s appointment, especially at this time of crisis, provides yet another example of the United Nation’s dysfunction. As the Federalist notes, “the organization continues to prove itself time and again to be a feckless, failed body filled with globalist bureaucrats.”
While the United States is (thankfully) no longer part of the council, and withdrew funding from the human rights council back in 2018, the US is still the single largest financial contributor to the United Nations.