Beijing cites ‘politicization’ of Human Rights Council in opposing investigation into possible human rights abuses in Ukraine
China has voted against a UN Human Rights Council investigation into possible Russian war crimes in northern Ukraine, backing down from its previous stance of abstaining over the crisis, fearing that the investigation is politically motivated.
“We have seen that in recent years politicization and confrontation with the [council] increased, which seriously affected credibility, impartiality and solidarity,” said Chen Xu, the top Chinese diplomat at the UN office in Geneva.
Chen made his comments before the Human Rights Council voted on Thursday – by a margin of 33 to 2 with 12 abstentions – to approve a resolution calling for an investigation into war crimes. Eritrea was the only other country to vote no. Members who abstained were Armenia, Bolivia, Cameroon, Cuba, India, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.
🔴 BREAKINGThe Human Rights Council has voted to strengthen the review of the “deteriorating human rights situation in #Ukraine resulting from Russian aggression”, particularly in view of the events #Mariupol and several other towns and cities.✅ YES: 33❌ NO: 2➖ ABSTENTIONS: 12 pic.twitter.com/KoDssTw3Df
— United Nations Human Rights Council (@UN_HRC) May 12, 2022
The investigation will apparently only include allegations against Russia, not atrocities allegedly carried out by Ukrainian troops, and will focus on events in the Ukrainian regions of kyiv, Chernigov, Kharkov and Sumy in late February and early March. It will be done “in order to hold those responsible to account”, depending on the resolution.
The areas that came under Russian control at the start of the conflict, which began on February 24, “have experienced the most horrific human rights violations on the European continent for decades”, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar told the council.
Moscow’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, argued that the “Collective West” organize a « Political rout to demonize Russiarather than addressing the real causes of the Ukrainian crisis and looking for ways to solve these problems.
The United Nations General Assembly last month voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council. China also voted no on the matter, but abstained on other Ukraine-related resolutions, including a General Assembly condemnation of the Russian military offensive and a reprimand of Moscow by the Security Council. UN security.
Speaking at a Security Council meeting on Thursday in New York, China’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dai Bing, said anti-Russian sanctions would backfire. “Sanctions will not bring peace but will only accelerate the fallout from the crisis, triggering food, energy and financial crises across the world,” he added. he said.
Russia attacked the neighboring state after Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Luhansk . The Minsk Protocol, brokered by Germany and France, was designed to give breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.