Weekly Brief April 26th
World Uyghur Congress, 26 April 2019
Chinese Official Admits to Advancing Chinese Interests in UN Role
This week, the WUC shared a very concerning from Chinese state media outlet CCTV, showing former UN Under-Secretary-General & head of UNDESA Wu Hongbo saying that he represented Chinese national interests in his position as a UN official, and referring to when he ordered that WUC President Dolkun Isa be expelled from the 2017 UN Indigenous Forum.
This is a clear dereliction of his responsibilities as a UN official to remain neutral and refrain from representing national authorities. By advancing China’s interests in his capacity as a high-level UN official, Wu Hongbo has violated Article 100 of the UN Charter. The current USG for UNDESA, Mr. Liu Zhenmin, also is seemingly using his position to represent China’s interests and tried to exclude Dolkun Isa from the Indigenous Forum in 2018.
This sort of behaviour should be of major concern to the UN and its member states. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed successive Chinese Under Secretary Generals who have flaunted the UN Charter and values of the UN in pursuit of China’s national interests. The WUC called on the UN, Mr. Guterres and member states to uphold the rules and values of the UN and ensure that UN officials act in the interest of the organisation and not as proxies for national governments.
WUC and Human Rights Organisations Call on UN Secretary General Guterres to Raise the Camps with China
The WUC joined a number of human rights organisations this week in calling on the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to publicly raise the mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs in internment with China and to call for all detainees to be released. Mr. Guterres has remained shamefully silent on the camps issue, despite it being one of the most critical human rights issues in the world.
While he has remained silent on human rights, Mr. Guterres has been a public proponent of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and is currently attending China’s Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Beijing. As human rights form one of the three central pillars of the UN, Mr. Guterres cannot continue to ignore this crime against humanity for the sake of good relations with China.
Scholars Around the World Organise Day of Solidarity With Uyghurs
In acknowledgement of the current crisis in East Turkistan and the suffering of the Uyghur people, scholars around the world organised events to highlight these issues and listen to the experiences of Uyghurs. The events were organised under the title of ‘Mainstreaming stories: A Day of Solidarity with the Uyghurs‘ and featured academics along with members of Uyghur diaspora communities. Events were organised in Australia, the US and Belgium, among other places. The WUC thanks these scholars for raising the persecution of Uyghurs and for giving a platform for Uyghur people to share their experiences.