17 January, 2022, 6:44 am Central - 23°C Rain

Reports that Russia & China oppose the candidacy of Ambassador Khan to be President of the UN Human Rights Council

Reports that Russia & China oppose the candidacy of Ambassador Khan to be President of the UN Human Rights Council

By Semi Turaga
Sunday 10/01/2021
Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan. [Image: reuters]

There are reports that Russia and China have opposed the candidacy of Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan to be the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Khan is Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.

Reuters reports that diplomats and observers say Russia and China have opposed Khan as a candidate as she is a staunch human rights defender.

This has created a deadlock.

Diplomats told Reuters that the Human Rights Council presidency rotates annually between regions and is usually agreed by consensus, with any contests typically resolved quickly and cordially,

The impasse means the council, the only intergovernmental global body to promote and protect human rights worldwide, is set to resume work in Geneva next week with no leader for the first time in its 15-year history.

While its decisions are not legally binding, they carry political weight and can authorise probes into violations.

Marc Limon of the Universal Rights Group think-tank told Reuters that the infighting points to a high-stakes game where powers are seeking to the pre-emptively counter future influence of the United States, which could rejoin the body under President-elect Joe Biden.

Limon said neither China nor Russia want a human rights-friendly country to hold the presidency in a year where the U.S. will probably re-engage with the council.

Observers and two diplomats told Reuters that Russia, China and Saudi Arabia - sometimes acting through proxies - have opposed the selection of Fiji’s ambassador, Nazhat Shameem Khan, or thrown their weight behind other last-minute candidates.

Phil Lynch who is the Director of the International Service for Human Rights told Reuters that it’s understood that Saudi Arabia, China and Russia were all supportive of a Bahraini candidacy and opposed to a Fijian candidacy.

Ambassador Khan had backed probes into abuses in Belarus and Yemen last year.

Ej-AGEv-AWs-AAl-MEk

Reuter reports Khan has not stepped aside and alternative candidates from Bahrain and Uzbekistan put forward since December have also faced opposition.

The President of the United Nations Human Rights Council has limited powers although some say the role has become increasingly political.

Reuters reports the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council does however appoint independent experts, such as the one who led an inquiry into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

[Source: Reuters]


Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Current increase in COVID-19 cases represents the beginning of the third wave of COVID-19 in Fiji - Dr Fong
Doctor Fong confirms we have the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the community as cases continue to rise during this 3rd wave of COVID-19 in ...
2 days ago

New COVID variant Omicron emerges in different parts of the world
WHO labels new COVID strain named omicron a variant of concern
3 days ago

Fiji continues to be affected by COVID-19
Contact tracing continues for most parts of Suva and Nausori. Mon 19th Apr Tue 20th Apr Wed 21st Apr Thu 22nd Apr Sat 24th Apr Sun ...
18 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
Supervisor of Elections has not resigned - Sayed-Khaiyum
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem has not resigned. Sayed-Khaiyum...
14 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Parts of Ba Town flooded again overnight
Parts of Ba Town were flooded again overnight following heavy rain. Flood waters started entering some of the shops at around 10 o’clock last ...
36 minutes ago

Rabuka calls on AG to apologise for the confusion caused by the secrecy over the absence of the PM and himself
People's Alliance Leader Sitiveni Rabuka is calling on the Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to issue a formal apology to the people of Fiji ...
11 hours ago

Rabuka calls on AG to apologise for the confusion caused by the secrecy over the absence of the PM and himself
AG says he and the PM went for a medical review in Singapore and Australia respectively People's Alliance Leader Sitiveni Rabuka is calling on the ...
11 hours ago

AG confirms that he also went to Singapore for his medical review
Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has confirmed that he was also away for his medical review in Singapore. He ...
11 hours ago

SME Network and FRIEND Fiji are organizing emergency relief for cyclone affected families
The Small Micro Enterprise Network in collaboration with FRIEND Fiji is organising an emergency relief to assist families affected by TC Cody. ...
14 hours ago

TOP