UK refuses to condemn China’s bid for UN rights seat

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The UK tonight refused a call  to lead the world and create a coalition of allies to vote against allowing China to join the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Instead, in response to a question posed in the House of Lords by Lork Polak, the government’s Lord Ahmad declined to even mention China directly, saying, “in making a decision we will certainly consider very carefully the human rights records of countries which aspire to speak about human rights at the HRC.”

Lord Polak (Con)

China has just announced its wish to become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council—yes, my Lords, the Human Rights Council. The Government have rightly condemned China for the appalling and inhumane treatment of the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. They have also rightly condemned China for its crushing of Hong Kong. Currently, China is agreeing a $400 billion economic security deal with the terror-supporting Iranian regime. So, not only is it destroying human rights at home in China; it is clearly a threat to human rights worldwide. History teaches us that condemning is not enough. Will my noble friend the Minister therefore agree with me that the Government should now lead the world and create a coalition of allies to vote against allowing China to take a seat on the UN’s most senior human rights body? Otherwise, our words of condemnation will, sadly, be just words.

My Lords, I cannot speak for other countries; they will make their decisions on who qualifies and who does not qualify for the Human Rights Council. However, like other member states, I hope, in making a decision we will certainly consider very carefully the human rights records of countries which aspire to speak about human rights at the HRC.