June 16: Theater of the Absurd at UN Human Rights Council

As the UN Human Rights Council celebrates its 10th anniversary with endless self-congratulatory speeches, UN Watch will be reporting daily on the debates of the June 2016 session. Click here for UN Watch’s assessment of the council’s performance over the past decade.

During a discussion on the independence of judges and judicial systems, China insisted that “states have the primary responsibility in developing their own judicial system” — UN speak for “don’t meddle with our affairs.” Nigeria assured the Council that the Nigerian constitution ensures that “there is an independent judiciary system,” despite evidence to the contrary.
Other governments were also frugal with the truth. Pakistan said that they “condemn all forms of violence against women; Islam condemns all forms of violence against women,” while South Africa, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that “the African Group has a zero tolerance to all violence against women and girls.”

Russia hosted an event in which they voiced their support for the embattled Assad regime in Syria. Russian Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Alexey Boradavkin, addressed the meeting, which saw contributors praise “Russia’s example on how to stop terrorists,” refer to “so-called opposition” in Syria, and denounce the “unilateral sanctions” in place against the Syrian government.
Bolivia and Pakistan lashed out against the West. The former emphasized that “we receive no colonial assistance,” while Pakistan suggested that violence against women was “exacerbated by colonialism and historical occupation.”

Additional resources:
Hillel Neuer testifies at United States Congress
Previous blog posts from the Human Rights Council

UN Watch