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Chinese language ambassador pledges assist as Fiji candidate wins UN Human Rights Council presidency

Fiji, the favourite of Western nations, gained the presidency of the United Nations Human Rights Council Friday, beating Bahrain and Uzbekistan in a ballot that resolved a tense standoff over the choice.

The vote was referred to as after a impasse that meant the Council, the one world intergovernmental physique tasked with selling and defending human rights, started conferences this week with out a chief for the primary time in its 15-year historical past .

The presidency rotates geographically, with every area often making a range by consensus, however members of the Asia-Pacific group couldn’t come to an settlement, forcing the primary poll within the Council.

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The United Nations Council is the one world intergovernmental physique to advertise and shield human rights. Picture: Reuters alt = The United Nations Council is the one world intergovernmental physique to advertise and shield human rights. Picture: Reuters

Nazahat Shameen Khan, a former UK-trained Excessive Court docket decide, gained with 29 votes to 14 for Bahrain and 4 for Uzbekistan, Vice President Ali Ibn Abi Talib Abdelrahman Mahmoud stated in a chamber of the ‘UN virtually empty the place delegates voted one after the other. As a consequence of Covid-19 measures.

The deadlock over the presidency got here in the beginning of a yr that’s anticipated to see the US rally after leaving the discussion board in 2018, and with a overview of the Council’s actions anticipated to start.

Observers and diplomats stated Fiji’s rivals have been backed by Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, though a Chinese language diplomat stated he can be comfortable any candidate wins. Officers from Russia and Saudi Arabia didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Chinese language Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Chen Xu congratulated Fiji in a tweet on Friday and pledged his assist.

The 47-member council doesn’t make legally binding choices, however it may authorize investigations into alleged rights violations by commissioning worldwide fact-finding missions.

Marc Limon, of the Common Rights Group suppose tank, praised Khan’s choice.

“It will be important for the Council to have a rustic like Fiji that has a optimistic human rights file and a great story to inform,” he stated, referring to the collapse of the previous UN rights physique after Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya led it.

A diplomat stated he anticipated the debates to be extra intense this yr, on condition that Russia and China return to council after intervals of relaxation.

“I count on lots of heated debate and the potential for acrimony,” he stated, saying China’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang could possibly be scorching spots.

This text was initially revealed within the South China Morning Post (SCMP), probably the most official voice reporting on China and Asia for over a century. For extra SCMP tales, please discover the SCMP application or go to the SCMP Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Put up Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Put up Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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