UN to com­mis­sion re­port on racism

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTWORLD - letters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

GENEVA: The UN’s top hu­man rights body voted unan­i­mously Fri­day to com­mis­sion a UN re­port on systemic racism and dis­crim­i­na­tion against black peo­ple while stop­ping short of or­der­ing a more in­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion sin­gling out the United States af­ter the death of Ge­orge Floyd at the hands of police sparked world­wide demon­stra­tions.

The Hu­man Rights Coun­cil ap­proved a con­sen­sus res­o­lu­tion fol­low­ing days of grap­pling over lan­guage af­ter African na­tions backed away from their ini­tial push for a com­mis­sion of in­quiry, the coun­cil’s most in­tru­sive form of scru­tiny, fo­cus­ing more on the US. In­stead, the res­o­lu­tion calls for a sim­ple and more generic re­port to be writ­ten by the UN hu­man rights chief’s of­fice and out­side ex­perts.

The aim is “to con­trib­ute to ac­count­abil­ity and re­dress for vic­tims” in the U.S. and be­yond, the res­o­lu­tion states.

Iran and Pales­tine signed on as co-spon­sors for the res­o­lu­tion that con­demns “the con­tin­u­ing racially dis­crim­i­na­tory and vi­o­lent prac­tices” by law en­force­ment against Africans and peo­ple of African de­scent “in par­tic­u­lar which led to the death of Ge­orge Floyd on 25 May 2020 in Min­nesota,” it says. Any state can sign on as a res­o­lu­tion co-spon­sor at the coun­cil.

The ap­proved text also asks U.N. High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights Michelle Bachelet to ex­am­ine gov­ern­ment re­sponses to anti-racism peace­ful protests, and calls on her to re­port back to the coun­cil in June 2021. It asked her to also in­clude up­dates on police bru­tal­ity against Africans and peo­ple of African de­scent in her reg­u­lar up­dates to the coun­cil.

US of­fi­cials have en­gaged in back-chan­nel diplo­macy as the text was be­ing drawn up — but the United States is of­fi­cially on the side­lines of the 47-na­tion coun­cil.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion pulled the US out two years ago, cit­ing the coun­cil’s al­leged an­tiIs­rael bias and acceptance of au­to­cratic regimes with pock­marked rights records as mem­bers.

US: PROTESTERS PULL DOWN, BURN STATUE

WASH­ING­TON: Protesters top­pled the statue of a Con­fed­er­ate gen­eral in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal and set it on fire on June­teenth, the day mark­ing the end of slav­ery in the US, amid anti-racism demon­stra­tions fol­low­ing the killing of Ge­orge Floyd in Min­neapo­lis.

Demon­stra­tors jumped up and down as the 11-foot statue of Al­bert Pike wob­bled on its pedestal be­fore fall­ing back­ward, land­ing in a pile of dust.

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