1 December, 2022, 3:08 pm Central - 30°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 Fijiโ€™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 itโ€™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
Womens Rugby World Cup 2022
Quarter-final qualification is now the goal for the Rooster Chicken Fijiana 15โ€™s following their 21-17 victory against South Africa.
42 days ago

Queen Elizabeth II passes away
Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch, has died aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.
72 days ago

Fiji wins Melrose Cup after 17 years
Fiji wins the RWC 7s title after 17 year drought
74 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
AAP rules misinformation on NADRA in Fiji
The Fijian Elections Office has acknowledged the factcheck finding by Australian Associated Press in relation to the information that is being spread ...
3 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter, dies aged 79
Christine McVie, who played with Fleetwood Mac and wrote some of their most famous songs, has died aged 79, her family has said. The British ...
3 hours ago

Driver who allegedly caused the death of a farmer in Sigatoka bailed
The driver who allegedly caused the death of a 23-year-old farmer from Waibogi Settlement on Sunday has been charged. He was was charged with one ...
4 hours ago

Driver charged for fatal accident in Colo-i-Suva
The 28 year old driver alleged to have caused the death of a 29 year old man following a accident in Colo-i-Suva last week has been charged. The ...
5 hours ago

โ€˜Super Mario Bros. Movieโ€™ trailer shows being a hero isnโ€™t all fun and games
Mario learns that being a hero is a tough gig in the new trailer for โ€œSuper Mario Bros. Movie.โ€ The colorful preview, in which Mario (Chris ...
7 hours ago

Saneem to appear on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan at 7pm tonight
Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem will appear on our special general elections talkback show, fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan at ...
17 hours ago

TOP