Press Release: Consultative status of human rights group under fire at the United Nations
Society for Threatened Peoples, 31 May 2018
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has warned against restricting the freedom of independent non-governmental organizations at the United Nations (UN). “The influence of authoritarian states in the world organization continues to grow. Non-governmental organizations must not be silenced just because they draw attention to serious human rights violations,” said STP’s director Ulrich Delius. China had previously tried to withdraw the NGO status of the human rights organization because of an alleged violation of UN rules. After protests by democratic states, China finally withdrew its application yesterday at a meeting of the UN’s NGO committee in New York.
“We have been committed to support persecuted minorities and nationalities at the UN for 25 years. If voices like ours are no longer heard, the UN loses its credibility”, said the president of STP International, Wolfgang Mayr from South Tyrol.
China had considered the accreditation of the long-time Uighur STP member Dolkun Isa at a UN conference in April as a violation of UN rules and called the human rights activist from Munich a “terrorist.” This view was opposed in the NGO Committee. “Dolkun Isa is a German citizen and one of the most important voices of the Uighurs who face serious human rights violations. Such voices must not be silenced,” Delius said.
STP called for an international discussion on the growing influence of authoritarian states at the UN. “NGOs need more support from democratic states so that it continues to be possible to address human rights violations openly at the UN”, Mayr explained. “More and more states are intimidating NGOs and refusing to accept any criticism,” Delius warned.