Press Release – For Immediate Release
01 July 2021
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
+49 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is heavy-hearted at the departure of Ambassador Christoph Heusgen as Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations (UN), and expresses its sincere and heartfelt gratitude for his staunch support of the WUC and the plight of the Uyghurs during his time as UN envoy.

“I cannot thank Mr. Heusgen enough for all the incredible work that he has done at the United Nations in the past four years, in particular for peoples who are suffering from human rights violations and oppression”, said WUC President Dolkun Isa. “I will forever be grateful for his efforts to promote Uyghur human rights, as well as to defend my rightful participation at the United Nations.” 

Over the past years, the UN mechanisms have become increasingly difficult to navigate for the WUC, as a result of China’s attempts to silence criticism and prevent Uyghurs from speaking out on the massive human rights abuses in East Turkistan. At the same time, China at the UN has taken steps to substantially undermine a well-functioning human rights system, proclaiming that state sovereignty and non-interference should be central to its mission. China’s proposed resolutions in recent years undermine the universality and indivisibility of human rights and pose a threat to the effectiveness of UN human rights mechanisms.

Since becoming Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN in July 2017 and Germany’s Representative at the Security Council since 2019, Mr. Heusgen has been essential to counter these efforts, and ensure that the UN remains a platform where Uyghurs and other oppressed peoples can raise their voices about the human rights atrocities they are facing. On several occasions where the Chinese government attempted to prevent the WUC and its President, Dolkun Isa, from speaking at the UN, Mr. Heusgen’s efforts ensured that the legitimate grievances of the Uyghur people could be heard and defended the meaningful participation of civil society at the UN.

It is thanks to the efforts and dedication of diplomats like Mr. Heusgen that the voices of Uyghurs are amplified at the UN. The WUC wishes Mr. Heusgen all the best in his next appointment, and warmly welcomes the upcoming Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN. The WUC looks forward to closely working together with the upcoming Ambassador, to continue to raise the Uyghur crisis at the UN fora.