Oppression in Vogue
Soon, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will celebrate its 70th anniversary.
Speaking in Geneva at the session of the UN Council on Human Rights, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed: “…it is plain that the words of the Universal Declaration are not yet matched by facts on the ground. In practice, people all over the world still endure constraints on or even total denial - of their human rights. Gender inequality remains a pressing issue... We are seeing a groundswell of xenophobia, racism and intolerance, including antiSemitism and anti-Muslim hatred.” He cited many concrete examples of egregious atrocities. In this regard, the UN Secretary-General recalled the atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar: “Deprived of nationality, they have been subjected to extreme brutality by military forces and others, and cast out of their homes and country in a clear example of ethnic cleansing.”
The “dossier” for Myanmar, according to the Secretary-General, was referred to the UN Security Council for consideration. The last time this step was taken by the head of the UN was in 1989.
The UN High Commissioner, Zeyd Ra’ad al-Hussein, also issued the same tough statements, which immediately warned that he was speaking to the Council as the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the last time and therefore will speak without baffling: “Oppression is again in vogue. Police states infringe basic human rights and freedoms throughout the world ... xenophobes and racists in Europe have discarded the latest decency. When the leader ... declares that the Jews are to blame for the Holocaust, and we miss this loathsome slander, it’s time to ask: are not we all crazy?”
He described the events in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Burundi and Myanmar as a ‘massacre’ and accused the international community of inaction. According to al-Hussein, what was happening could be prevented, but almost nothing was done to address that.
Uzbekistan announced in Geneva its intention to be elected a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2021-2023. Such a decision was made in the framework of purposeful work on qualitative improvement of ensuring the protection of human rights in the country.