Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 14, 2020
Thank you. High Commissioner Bachelet, the United States remains committed to the protection of democracy, good governance, and human rights – especially amid the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and underscores the importance of civil society space in the UN. We agree that government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic must not use the disease as a pretext for repressing human rights.
In the People’s Republic of China, we are alarmed by the Chinese Communist Party’s detention of more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and members of other predominantly Muslim minority groups in internment camps in Xinjiang. Madam High Commissioner, we hope you will endorse the June 26 statement by 50 UN independent experts about the egregious human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Tibet, and elsewhere in China. We strongly encourage you and your office to release a report about the well-documented abuses taking place.
On Iran, we share your concern for activists like human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. We urge Iran to release those jailed for defending human rights.
On Syria, we welcome the reporting by the UN Commission of Inquiry and your call for the protection of civilians, especially the release of those arbitrarily detained.
In Nicaragua and Venezuela, we are deeply concerned about reports of arbitrary detention, torture, and intimidation being used to silence dissent.
We appreciate your comments on the human rights situation in Belarus including the call for the release of detainees, including political prisoners, and urging cooperation with the Special Rapporteur.
In the DRC, we are deeply alarmed by reports of worsening armed conflict in parts of eastern DRC, and your assessment that there are widespread and systematic attacks by armed groups that may amount to crimes against humanity.
Finally, we were very disappointed to see your office publish a database of companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories in February 2020.
Madam High Commissioner, while the PRC continues to bar you and your office from undertaking an unhindered, unmonitored country visit, what are your plans to address the well documented abuses in Xinjiang?