Geneva: At the 31st session of UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group (5-16 November 2018), China was reviewed for its human rights record. This is China’s 3rd review. UN Member states took part in the review.
The President of UN HRC H.E. Mr Vojslav Suc chaired the session that lasted for three and a half hours. The Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China H.R. Mr Le Yucheng delivered the opening address. A delegation from Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) and Office of Tibet Geneva observed the review.
A total of 12 Member States; Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States expressed concern over human rights violations in Tibet in particular freedom of religion and belief, freedom of expression and assembly, the imprisonment of language advocate Tashi Wangchuk, crackdown on Tibetan Buddhist lamas, and called for unhindered access to diplomats and UN representatives to Tibet.
Nine Member States made a total of 12 recommendations on Tibet. New Zealand called for the “Resumption of two-way dialogue on Tibet.’
In addition to the oral intervention, in September this year, seven UN member states; United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Germany and Switzerland made advance written submissions on Tibet in the lead up to UPR. The written statements questioned the case of language advocate Tashi Wangchuk and called on China to implement the recent recommendations of Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on Tibet and “Xinjiang” and facilitate access to Tibet and other areas of “ethnic minorities. ”
DIIR Secretary Sonam Norbu Dagpo said, “In recent decades we have watched the steep rise of China on the global stage while at the same time witnessed a steady decline in human rights in all areas under Chinese rule and a decline in the challenges China faces for these abuses. Therefore the UPR is a strong mechanism for UN member states to holding China to its international human rights obligations and help protect human rights in regions under the PRC.”
DIIR Secretary Dhardon Sharling said, “Post the UPR review, we will continue to step up our advocacy efforts and keep pushing for China to accept the recommendations and allow a fact-finding and investigative visits by UN experts, while strengthening deliberations on China in the Human Rights Council, and ensure China’s compliance with human rights treaties.”
Representative of Office of Tibet Geneva Ngodup Dorjee expressed satisfaction over the successful review and said, “Today’s review of China not only succeeded in putting the spotlight on rights violations in China but reiterated the role of UN member states and international community in holding China to account for its human rights record and seek redress of rights violations and ensure China’s accountability as a UN member.”