China escapes UN censure on human rights
Thursday 09 March 1995
A draft resolution proposed by the European Union, with strong support from the US, was defeated by one vote as Russia switched sides. "It was never likely that Russia would support the motion, but there was a faint hope they might abstain," said a Western diplomat. "It was disappointing to have come so close, but China has been put on notice that its human rights record is coming under scrutiny, and that it cannot rely on procedural moves to escape."
For four consecutive years since 1991, China had succeeded in preventing critical resolutions going to the full Human Rights Commission for a vote. This year, however, a "no action" motion to shelve the resolution failed, setting off furious lobbying as the EU and the US sought Third World support. They failed because Russia and Peru agreed to the resolution being debated, but then voted against it.
Robbie Barnett, a leading British activist on human rights in China, said the significance of Peking's narrow escape was that its claim to be a leader of the Third World had lost validity. "This is much more important to the Chinese authorities than any criticism over human rights," he said. "Previously they would have expected to have defeated such a motion easily."
The US and EU nations, anxious to prove they have not abandoned pressure on China over human rights since "delinking" the issue from trade, threw more effort into lobbying than in previous years. Peking's claim that it was the victim of a "political conspiracy" was weakened by its support for a Cuban resolution condemning racism in the US.
John Shattuck, US Assistant Secretary of State for Humanitarian Affairs, said: "This year for the first time the UN Human Rights Commission has made clear that the Universal Declaration on Human Rights cannot be defeated by procedural manoeuvring and that no country, however large, can avoid scrutiny of its human rights record."
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Railway Museum, the largest of its ...
£250 - £300 per day: Sauce Recruitment: (Rolling) 3 month contractA global en...
£40000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer - ne...