Russia, Iran sending top envoys to UN human rights session

Geneva –

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday that Iran’s foreign minister, Russia’s senior ambassador and top French and German diplomats were among the leaders of the latest and longest-running session of the UN’s highest human rights body. Help get started. join.

As the world grapples with human rights issues, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, the suppression of dissent in Russia and Belarus, renewed violence between Palestinians and Israelis, and efforts to forge a peace deal in Ethiopia, the Human Rights Council The 5-week-long session of the This ended his two-year conflict between the central government and rebels in the Tigray region.

The 47-member council addresses a wide range of human rights issues, including discrimination, religious freedom, the right to housing, and the negative impact of government-targeted economic sanctions on ordinary people. “Situation” like Afghanistan, Syria, Myanmar, Nicaragua, South Sudan. Usually in a year he is held three times.

Proponents say the Geneva-based human rights group has become increasingly divided in recent years due to major rifts between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, one of which is China and one of Russia. is increasing in importance as a diplomatic forum. , England, France, America.

On Monday, among the speakers after Guterres and the presidents of Congo, Montenegro and Colombia, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amiravdrahian will appear between Germany’s Anarena Barbock and France’s Catherine Colonna. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will make a statement by video.

Amira Rabdrahian’s visit follows loud and ongoing protests that erupted in Iran after the September death of 22-year-old Masa Amini after being arrested by the country’s morality police is.

Moscow is to be represented at the highest level since Russia suspended its board membership last year. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will speak in a video message on the same day.

A year ago, dozens of diplomats walked out of the council room when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov appeared in a video to voice opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a few days ago. He was originally scheduled to attend in person, but after the invasion many Western countries closed their airspace to flights from Russia.

During this session, the US will likely try to keep pressure on China over past issues regarding its crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and others, long-standing concerns about Tibet, and other issues regarding the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. – Former UN Human Rights Council member Michelle Bachelet released a scathing report last fall, minutes before he resigned.

“We will continue to spotlight China’s documented abuses of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” said Michele Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to the Council. said. “We’re not going to walk away from it… We don’t have an exact answer right now as to what’s planned, but I can say that we’re in firm talks about what it will look like.”

Western diplomats say they are waiting to see how the new UN human rights chief, Volker Turk, will take the issue. He plans to speak shortly after Guterres.

Other items on the agenda include the possible renewal of the term of the expert team known as the Commission of Inquiry into the Impact of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine and the premature termination of the mandate of the Council-appointed team. There is an Ethiopian initiative. Investigator who has investigated rights issues related to conflicts with Tigray rebels.

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