- WFTU statement on the workplace homicide in Turkey
- The WFTU General Secretary addressed the 43rd Session of the OATUU General Council
- JOINT ALLIANCE STATEMENT ON MEETING WITH SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE POLISARIO FRONT, PRESIDENT BRAHIM GHALI OF THE SAHARAWI ARAB DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
- South Africa vows 'unapologetic' support to Western Sahara
- President Cyril Ramaphosa: Opening remarks during Saharawi State Visit
- Mswati’s R40 million bribe for United Nations(UN)Taiwan recognition advocacy, money disguised as security upgrade
- Mswati’s agents petrol bomb editor Zweli Martin Dlamini’s home
- State security officers fires a hail of bullets at PUDEMO’s Panuel Malinga’s home, burns Ford Rangerk
- Mswati’s court stops police protest, special team of officers deployed to assault aggrieved cops
- Situation in Ethiopia's Tigray is Spiraling Out of Control: UN
- 26 Countries Call for Lifting of Unilateral Coercive Measures
- The Palestinians in Gaza must watch in silence as their natural resources are stolen
- Iran will not allow Israel to establish bases near Iranian territory, says senior officer
- Hamas: West Bank escalations 'extension of revolution'
- US Blockade Harms the Cuban People by $15 Million Per Day
- Liz Truss resigns, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history
WFTU statement on the workplace homicide in Turkey
21 October 2022
The World Federation of Trade Unions expresses its sadness and indignation for the fatal accident in Bartın Amasra coal mine in Turkey that cost the lives of tens of miners who are sacrificed for the sake of profit.
According to the official information, 41 workers were killed, tens are injured and 11 were hospitalized. This new workplace homicide took place 8 years after the Soma massacre that cost the life of 301 miners in Turkey. It seems that no improvement has been made about the working conditions during the 8 years after Soma massacre.
The coal mine where the workplace homicide happened is not operated by private sector; it’s operated by the state itself. This fact proves that greed for more profits is of more priority than the lives of workers for not only private sector but also public sector in Turkey. Thus; the innocent workers are sacrificed for the sake of more exploitation and profits of Capitalism.
This workplace homicide has absolutely been a foregone incident. It’s stated in a report prepared by Turkish Court of Accounts in 2019 that the explosion risk in the coal mine has increased due to the depth of production of 300 meters. In spite of this fact, no precautions were taken and 41 workers lost their lives due to a firedamp explosion.
As remembered, after the Soma massacre, Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey said “Dying is within the nature of this job.” Erdoğan once again used similar explanations after the occupational massacre in Bartın coal mines which resulted in the death of 41 miners. He said “We are the people who believe in the plan of destiny. As we believe in the plan of destiny, these accidents happened, happen and will happen in the future.” That is, he attributes these kinds of occupational crimes to the “destiny” although these accidents that result in the death of many workers can easily be prevented by taking simple protective measures. In this way, the workplace homicides in Turkey are naturalized and shown as if they are ordinary cases. As a result of this fact, Turkey has been ranked number one country where the most miners are killed in occupational crimes.
One of the most important aspects of this fatal accident is the reality of yellow unionism in Turkey. The yellow unions which are organized in the mines have been a part of these workplace homicides by ignoring the lack of adequate protective measures.
Our thoughts are with the families of the workers who lost their lives trying to earn their livelihood. The WFTU demands the conducting of an independent investigation and the punishment of the responsible ones, full compensation, and immediate implementation of adequate protective measures in all mines and workplaces in Turkey. We express our solidarity with the working class of Turkey that once again mourns its children
The WFTU General Secretary addressed the 43rd Session of the OATUU General Council
21 October 2022
The WFTU General Secretary, Pambis Kyritsis took the floor and addressed the 43rd Session of the General Council of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) which is taking place in Cairo, Egypt on 18-20 October 2022.
In his intervention, the WFTU General Secretary underlined the common values, common visions, and common struggles of the WFTU and OATUU, and he mentioned:
‘’The cooperation of our organizations is based on principles, and aims to create the conditions for a better world, free of political, economic and social inequalities, free of exploitation and injustice. WFTU, in its 77 years of life and action, has overtime and consistently, stood by the peoples of Africa.’’
‘’Policies that approach the issue of poverty, hunger and underdevelopment in Africa as issue of charity, essentially aims to reproduce the existing relations of economic and political dependence and the incredibly provocative economic and social inequalities.’’
‘’It is clear that only through the struggles, the goals of the labor movement are realized and social progress achieved. ‘’
Read the whole intervention of the WFTU General Secretary:
Speech of WFTU General Secretary Pambis Kyritsis to address the 43rd session of OATUU General Council
Dear colleagues, brothers and sisters,
It is with great and special joy that we convey to the delegates of the 43rd session of OATUU General Council, militant greetings on behalf of the more than 105 million members from 133 countries from all corners of the globe of the World Trade Union Federation.
We sincerely thank the leadership of OATUU who has given us this opportunity.
WFTU and OATUU are united by common values, common visions and common struggles.
The cooperation of our organizations is based on principles, and aims to create the conditions for a better world, free of political, economic and social inequalities, free of exploitation and injustice.
WFTU, in its 77 years of life and action, has overtime and consistently, stood by the peoples of Africa. It has supported with all its strength, the struggles for the liberation of its peoples from colonialism and national oppression, the struggles that continue unabated, against neocolonialism and imperialist predatory exploitation of the continent’s natural wealth. Against racism and racial discrimination.
In a «new world order» in which principles and values, measures and standards, are adapted to the interests and priorities of the monopolies and the powerful imperialist states, Africa, the continent with the most natural resources on our planet, remains the poorest and least developed.
It is clear to us, that policies that approach the issue of poverty, hunger and underdevelopment in Africa as issue of charity, essentially aims to reproduce the existing relations of economic and political dependence and the incredibly provocative economic and social inequalities.
WFTU defends fair and equivalents economic and political relations, which have to base on real solidarity, on reciprocity and on respect for the sovereignty and independence of peoples. On the development of infrastructure and preconditions, so that the economic, social and technological disparities to be reduced and to strengthen the possibilities of sustainable and independent development, able to guarantee to all peoples of Africa, a dignify standard of living.
At a time when the world is going through a phase of extreme intensification of political, economic, and military antagonisms for controlling and exploiting the economic resources of our planet, the peoples pay the price of the imperialist wars and interventions with death, refugees, and also with the deterioration of their living and working conditions.
The working class, the class-oriented trade unions all over the world, fighting for peace, for an end to imperialist interventions, for the dissolution of NATO and all military coalitions, and for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The world peace is not being protected by even more militarism, or patronage of all kinds of far-right nationalists and fascists. It cannot be based on blockades, sanctions and economic wars.
Dear colleagues, brothers and sisters
Nowadays the economic crises of capitalism follow one another. The continuation of the war in Ukraine is making the economic crisis of capitalism deeper and the workers more vulnerable to the exploitation and the antilabor attacks. The pandemic has not only dramatically widened social inequalities but has also been used for new attacks against democratic rights and trade union freedoms. Especially in regions like Africa, in which the threat of the food crisis and the hunger is more than visible.
WFTU, under the general slogan:
– We will not pay for the capitalist crisis and the imperialist wars.
– Wage and pension increase Now.
call on workers in all countries, together to strengthen and massify the unions. To resist and mobilize. The struggles taking place in several countries are our hope and our future. Solidarity is our weapon.
It is clear that only through the struggles, the goals of the labor movement are realized and social progress achieved. Struggles for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the workers at all levels: salary, employment, security, culture, and mental. For democratic and trade union freedoms, collective bargaining and stable, permanent, and agreements-regulated labor; for autonomy Trade Unions, class oriented away from bureaucracy, corruption, and manipulation by the capital and employers. Against the action of the yellow unions that undermine the unity of workers and the strength and the effectiveness of the labor struggles.
Dear colleagues, brothers and sisters,
With OATUU, we were and remain, fellow travellers, marching shoulder to shoulder and supporting each other on the road of internationalism and class solidarity. On the road of building working class unity for economic liberation and social justice.
Not only for the protection and the improvement of the rights and the working conditions of the Africa Working Class, but also to defend the social achievements and the democratic and trade union freedoms all over the world.
I have no doubt that you will continue on this path, in militant spirit, for a better world, free of imperialistic wars and interventions, without any kind of discrimination and man-by-man exploitation.
I wish every success to your session and I assure you that in the face of WFTU you will always have a militant and selfless companion, on which you can always rely.
– Long live the working-class solidarity
– Long live OATUU
JOINT ALLIANCE STATEMENT ON MEETING WITH SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE POLISARIO FRONT, PRESIDENT BRAHIM GHALI OF THE SAHARAWI ARAB DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
19 October 2022
On Wednesday, 19 October 2022 the Revolutionary Alliance comprising the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) held a bilateral meeting with the Polisario Front.
The President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and Secretary-General of the Polisario Front Brahim Ghali led the delegation of the Polisario Front, while the ANC Secretary General’s Office, represented by Gwen Ramogkopa, Co-ordinator, the SACP General Secretary Solly Mapaila, and Cosatu Second Deputy President Duncan Luvuno together led the Alliance delegation.
2022 marked the 46th anniversary of the proclamation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. Meanwhile, Morocco continues its illegal occupation of Western Sahara. Solidarity with the Saharawi people against the illegal occupation was a key area of focus in the meeting.
The Alliance and the Polisario Front reaffirmed their long-established deep ties of solidarity forged in the common struggle for liberation, against colonialism and apartheid in South Africa, and for the Saharawi people’s fundamental right to self-determination.
Ghali emphasised the importance of ending the occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco. He said the Saharawi People must be allowed determine their destiny through a United Nations supervised referendum in line with the provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 690 of 29 April 1991. The Alliance reiterates its view that the United Nations should urgently implement the key tenants of the 1991 Ceasefire agreement, which provided, amongst others, for the holding of a Referendum, to enable the Saharawi People to exercise their right to self-determination.
The Alliance reaffirmed its support for the right of the Saharawi People to self-determination. The Alliance reiterated its rejection of the idea that an autonomous Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty is the only acceptable solution. This colonisation idea by Morocco contradicts the will of the Saharawi People and the resolutions of the United Nations, United Nations Security Council and the African Union.
In the same vein, the Alliance rejects the posture by Spain. This former colonial power, Spain, supports Morocco in undermining the right of the Saharawi People to self-determination.
In 1975, the International Court of Justice ruled that Morocco has absolutely no right to occupy Western Sahara or any of its territories. The Alliance reaffirmed its support for this ruling. The Alliance also called upon the African Union to immediately engage with the 1983 Peace Plan, adopted by the Organisation of Africa Unity to resolve the situation of Western Sahara.
The Alliance denounced the lack of consultation with the Saharawi Republic by Mr Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara. The Alliance calls upon the United Nations to facilitate a process for direct negotiations between Morocco and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic with immediate effect.
The Alliance welcomed the high-level discussion between President Ghali and President Ramaphosa. It commended the principled and steadfast leadership provided by President Ramaphosa in committing to elevate South Africa’s bilateral relationship with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic to a Strategic Partnership. The Alliance called for deepening of bilateral economic and trade relations with the Saharawi Republic.
The Alliance will strengthen its solidarity with the Polisario Front and the Saharawi People, by, among others, engaging in intensified united action on the domestic and international fronts for their national liberation and self-determination.
ISSUED BY ALLIANCE SECRETARIAT
Paul Mashatile OBO ANC Secretary-General’s Office
Solly Mapaila, SACP General Secretary
Solly Phetoe, Cosatu General Secretary
South Africa vows 'unapologetic' support to Western Sahara
18 October 2022
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday vowed the government's "unapologetic" backing for the partially recognised Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Western Sahara.
The disputed status of Western Sahara - a former Spanish colony considered a "non-self-governing territory" by the United Nations - has pitted Morocco against the Algeria-backed pro-independence Polisario Front since the 1970s.
"We are concerned about the silence that persists in the world about the struggle for self determination for the people of Western Sahara," Ramaphosa said during a visit by Polisario leader Brahim Ghali to Pretoria.
"We find that other struggles are articulated at a higher decibel... and that is why as South Africans we are clear, we are firm and we are unapologetic in relation to our support for Sahrawi people.
"It's a just struggle, it's a noble struggle, it's an honourable struggle, a people who want to determine their own destiny through self determination," said Ramaphosa, drawing comparison with the fight against apartheid.
The Polisario Front is campaigning for an independent state in the Western Sahara, a vast stretch of phosphate-rich desert that was controlled by Spain between 1884 and 1975.
The Polisario proclaimed the SADR in 1976, placing it in conflict with Morocco, which considers the Western Sahara to be part of its own territory.
Rabat controls nearly 80% of the territory and is pushing for autonomy under its sovereignty.
The international community has long backed a referendum to be held to decide the territory's status.
But Morocco rejects any vote in which independence is an option, arguing that only granting autonomy is on the table for the sake of regional security.
The SADR is a member of the African Union and says it has been recognised by more than 80 countries.
The dynamics of the long-simmering conflict changed in 2020 when then United States president Donald Trump recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in exchange for the kingdom's normalisation of relations with Israel.
President Cyril Ramaphosa: Opening remarks during Saharawi State Visit
18 October 2022
Opening remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during official talks Saharawi State Visit the Union Buildings 18 October 2022
Your Excellency, President Brahim Ghali,
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa I welcome you, Mr President, and your esteemed delegation on this significant visit to South Africa.
We enjoy fraternal bilateral relations anchored not only on our shared history of struggle, but also on our common vision for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.
We proudly recall that we signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Diplomatic Consultations in 2013.
Since then, we had regular strategic exchanges focusing on issues of mutual interest at regional, continental and international levels.
Our strategic relationship has ensured that we have been able to cooperate at the African Union on major continental issues, including upholding the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
Your visit to South Africa is a reunion of comrades who share common views and interests, and who together seek to the struggle for freedom, self-determination and territorial integrity.
South Africa stands by its principled position on the right to self-determination for the Saharawi people as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
We firmly believe that any misinterpretation of the right to freedom and human dignity constitutes a grave betrayal of our own struggle for freedom and our commitment to the UN Charter and the AU Constitutive Act.
We remain concerned about the prolonged suffering of the Saharawi people.
As the African Union works to attain the aspirations for a peaceful, secure, integrated and prosperous Africa, we are reminded that the decolonisation of Africa is incomplete.
The decolonisation of Western Sahara is essential to the achievement of the Africa we want.
We need to intensify international pressure so that the long-delayed referendum on the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara is held.
In this regard, we reiterate our call for both parties to resume direct negotiations in good faith and without preconditions to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.
We call for an end to human rights abuses against the Saharawi people and for the extension of the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to include the monitoring of human rights.
I am certain that our engagement today will contribute to a strengthening of the existing bilateral relationship and practical actions of solidarity.
Our two nations will continue to exchange views on how to intensify diplomatic pressure in our efforts to achieve the speedy resolution of the question of Western Sahara.
Your Excellency, I once again welcome you and your delegation to South Africa, your home away from home.
I thank you.
Mswati’s R40 million bribe for United Nations(UN)Taiwan recognition advocacy, money disguised as security upgrade
17 October 2022
King Mswati has been allegedly receiving about R40 million every year as a bribe for consistently urging the United Nations(UN) to recognize the Republic of China on Taiwan as an independent State.
The King has been Taiwan’s agent urging the UN to review Resolution 2758 of 1971 that endorsed the One-China principle and recognized the People’s Republic of China(PRC) Province as a member of the United Nations.
“We continue to appeal for Taiwan to be considered for full participation in the UN agencies.We are confident that the global village would benefit substantially from Taiwan's meaningful participation in the UN system,” said the King when addressing the UN General Assembly this year.
Now, documentary evidence in our possession suggests that on or around 04 October 2022, a few hours after Mswati returned from the United Nations(UN) General Assembly, Major General Collen Lasco, the Head of Royal Close Protection Unit(RCPU) prepared ‘disguised’ documentation to facilitate the release of the bribe from Taiwan through it’s Embassy in eSwatini.
Major General Lasco who had travelled with the King to the United Nations(UN), prepared and signed what appeared to be ‘quotations’ amounting to $2,289,345.00(about R40million) with State Security ‘letterheads’ for the provision of security upgrade services at Hlane Royal Residence.
Worth-noting, the Ministry of Defense is a State institution and not a profit making entity that provides such services and gets paid for them.
It has been disclosed that Mswati and his Taiwan allies has been using the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development to ‘launder’ the bribe and payments directed to King Mswati, some of the payments were disguised as donations for social projects.
An independent investigation conducted by this Swaziland News uncovered that on or around 04 October 2022, a few hours after King Mswati returned from the United Nations(UN)General Assembly, Major General Collen Lasco, the Head of the Royal Protection Unit(RCPU) wrote a letter to the Principal Secretary(PS) in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development urging the PS to facilitate the release of the funds.
“The Royal Close Protection Unit kindly request your innovative office to facilitate the acquisition of funds to upgrade the security system with digital surveillance and Baracks extension at the Hlane Royal Residence,”reads a letter signed by Major General Lasco.
Reached for comments, Percy Simelane, the King’s Spokesperson urged this investigative journalist to send him some documentary evidence substantiating the allegations, so he could provide an informed comment.
The King’s Spokesperson said even if the handshake was all cash, there should be a paperwork even in the smallest ways.
“Even if the alleged handshake was all cash there should be paperwork even in the smallest of ways. May we kindly request that we be furnished with the transaction evidence,” said the King’s Spokesperson
As per the request, the documents allegedly disguising the bribe were sent to the King’s Spokesperson and Simelane subsequently disputed that these documents were meant to facilitate the alleged bribe.
“Thank you(sic) kindly for the request of funding letters.We however do not take us to the handshake evidence we were looking for.The letters in question conform to Government House Style for requesting for financial assistance from its development partners and we have no reasons to believe they were agents of alteria motives,”said the King’s Spokesperson.
Simelane did not clarify why the King now receives money from Taiwan for security upgrades when Parliament approved and released a multibillion royal budget.
A questionnaire was sent to His Excellency Jeremy Liang, the Taiwan Ambassador to the Kingdom of eSwatini, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
But an insider who shared a highly confidential document, confirming the chain of communication between Mswati’s Government and the Taiwanese Embassy when facilitating the bribe, told this publication that the King demanded his payment shortly after returning from the UN General Assembly.
“As you can see in the documents, the facilitation of the payment was rushed because the King said he wanted his money urgently after delivering the speech. Previously the payment was US$1,000,000,00(about R18million), it was then increased to US$2,000.000.00”, said the royal insider.
Reached for comments, former Senate Deputy President Ngomyayona Gamedze, the Sive Siyinqaba Acting Chairman dismissed the sentiments of the King’s Spokesperson, he said it was clear that Mswati was motivated by this money to speak on behalf of Taiwan at the UN General Assembly.
“Firstly, we need to understand that money for the renovation of Palaces is budgeted for by Government and that money is released every year.Under normal circumstances, such monies that come from other countries as donations are paid directly to Government, be part of the country’s budget and be accounted for,” said the former Senate Deputy President.
An independent investigation by this publication further uncovered that, subsequent to the letter written by Major General Collen Lasco, on or around the 10th October 2022, Siboniso D. Masilela, the Acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, wrote a letter to His Excellency Jeremy Liang, the Ambassador of Republic of China on Taiwan requesting the said US$2,289,345.00(about R40million) for what he described as Hlane Royal Residence security surveillance system and the extension of the army barracks.
“The Ministry on behalf of the Royal Close Protection Unit of the Ministry of National Defense and Security, herewith submits an application for additional funds for the upgrade of the security system with digital surveillance and the extension of the Army Barracks at the Hlane Royal Residence. Attached overleaf are two quotations from the supplier totaling to US$2,289.345.00, broken down as follows, US$864,690.00 going towards the extension of the Army Barracks and US1,424,655.00 going towards the upgrade of the security system,” reads the letter in part.
Reached for comments, Siboniso Masilela, the Acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development said as the Ministry of Economic Planning, they don’t question such monies but merely facilitate the release.
“We only facilitate the release of the monies without questioning the purpose of the grant.These are grant monies from Taiwan not local funding that is accounted for.I am aware of this letter you are asking me about but the Ministry of Defense that is in charge of the project is better positioned to comment,” said the Acting Principal Secretary.
The PS later called this journalist,saying he had verified with officials within the Ministry who confirmed that the money was for an ongoing project for security upgrades.
“I have confirmed with officials, the money is for an ongoing project for security upgrades,”said the Acting PS.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on the subject matter, a Member of Parliament(MP) who is well-versed with finance issues said any grant from international partners was included in the country’s national budget adding that this money cannot therefore, be justified as a grant for Royal Residences security upgrade.
“If the money was legitimate, it was supposed to be included in the budget even if it comes from a foreign country. This one that comes from Taiwan and be facilitated on behalf of the King is a bribe,” said the MP.
A questionnaire was sent to Lieutenant Tengetile Khumalo, the Army Spokesperson, however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Eswatini is the only country in Africa with diplomatic relations with Taiwan, a Chinese Province that is not recognized by the United Nations(UN) as an independent State.
Mswati’s agents petrol bomb editor Zweli Martin Dlamini’s home
20 October 2022
The home of editor Zweli Martin Dlamini situated at LaMgabhi Etiyeni was, on Thursday evening petrol bombed, allegedly, by King Mswati’s agents.
This was confirmed by Zama Dlamini, a brother to the editor who is staying within the editor’s home.
“They arrived in a Golf and threw a petrol bomb through the window. The bombers then drove at a high speed and took the LaMgabhi Etiyeni - Gobholo road,” said the brother to the editor.
Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, the Police Spokesperson, had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
The bombing of the editor’s home comes after the State agents invaded the home of PUDEMO National Organizer Penuel Malinga, fired bullets and subsequently burnt his Ford Ranger worth about R1 million.
Before the bombings, Ludzidzini Indvuna Themba Ginindza was exposed by this publication confirming that Mswati trained a squad to bomb political activists and their properties.
Other victims of the alleged State sponsored bombing include among others, PUDEMO President Mlungisi Makhanya and his Secretary General Wandile Dludlu, pro-democracy Member of Parliament(MP) Marwick Khumalo and Sive Siyinqaba Acting Chairman Ngomyayona Gamedze.
State security officers fires a hail of bullets at PUDEMO’s Panuel Malinga’s home, burns Ford Ranger
18 October 2022
. State security officers invaded the home of political activist Penuel Malinga at Mbekelweni on Tuesday night,fired a hail of bullets and subsequently burnt a Ford Ranger worth about R1million.
Reached for comments, Malinga, the National Organizer of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO),confirmed the attack.
“It’s true, they arrived here and fired a hail of bullets. With my family,we ran for cover inside the house while they burn my Ford Ranger,” said the PUDEMO National Organizer.
A questionnaire was sent to Superintendent Phindile Vilakati,however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
The attack on the PUDEMO National Organizer,s home comes after the bombing of PUDEMO President Mlungisi Makhaya’s home.
Eswatini is in the midst of a political unrest, Mswati has unleashed his security officers to target political activists, dozens have been killed since the political unrest started.
This publication previously exposed Ludzidzini Indvuna Themba Ginindza who disclosed that they training a squad to burn political activists and their properties.
Mswati’s court stops police protest, special team of officers deployed to assault aggrieved cops
18 October 2022
The widely reported police protest in demand for a salary increment has been stopped by the court.
This comes after the office of the National Commissioner of Police through the Attorney General(AG)moved an urgent application on Monday night to interdict police officers and warders from marching to the office of Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini.
The officers were expected to collect responses from the PM after delivering a petition last week in demand for a salary increment.
“Interdicting the Respondents staff associations members or anyone acting at the behest of the said staff association from engaging in any form of a march or strike action on the 18 October or any other future date,” reads the court order in part.
On another note, it has been disclosed that a team of junior police officer has been commanded to assault their colleagues who would march to the Prime Minister’s Office against the court order.
Situation in Ethiopia's Tigray is Spiraling Out of Control: UN
17 October 2022
"Violence and destruction have reached alarming levels. The social fabric is being ripped apart," Guterres warned.
On Monday, United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres called for an end to hostilities in Ethiopia's Tigray region, including the withdrawal of Eritrean troops.
"The situation in Ethiopia is spiraling out of control. Violence and destruction have reached alarming levels. The social fabric is being ripped apart," Guterres said, adding that "hostilities in the Tigray region of Ethiopia must end now, including the immediate withdrawal and disengagement of Eritrean armed forces from Ethiopia. There is no military solution."
"The United Nations is ready to support the African Union in every possible way to end this nightmare for the Ethiopian people. We need the urgent resumption of talks toward an effective, lasting political settlement. The international community must rally together now for peace in Ethiopia," he added.
Civilians are paying a horrific price. Indiscriminate attacks, including in residential areas, are killing more innocent people every day, damaging critical infrastructure and limiting access to vital services.
Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes since hostilities resumed in August, many of them for the second time. There are also disturbing reports of sexual violence and other acts of brutality against women, children and men, the UN chief said, asking all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and humanitarian workers.
Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes since hostilities resumed in August. There are also disturbing reports of sexual violence and other acts of brutality against women, children and men, the UN chief said, asking all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and humanitarian workers.
The level of humanitarian need is staggering. Even before the resumption of hostilities, 13 million people required food and other support across Tigray, Amhara and Afar. Deliveries of aid into Tigray have been suspended for more than seven weeks, and assistance to neighboring Amhara and Afar has also been disrupted.
All parties must allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for all civilians in need, Guterres said, pointing out that crises like Ethiopia should not be sidelined as the world's attention is focused on the conflict in Ukraine.
"We need to pay a lot of attention necessarily to the crisis in Ukraine that is of global dimension. But we can not forget crises like the Ethiopian one, where the level of suffering and the people, the number of casualties are absolutely gigantic," he said.
An armed conflict between government-allied troops and the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front broke out in Tigray in Nov. 2020. Conflict resumed in August 2022 after a lull.
26 Countries Call for Lifting of Unilateral Coercive Measures
19 October 2022
"A true, effective and functional multilateral system based on international solidarity, unity and cooperation is urgently needed more than ever," Chinese ambassador Dai said.
On Wednesday, Dai Bing, the charge d'affaires at the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations, made a joint statement at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), on behalf of 25 countries, calling for the immediate and complete lifting of unilateral coercive measures.
"The world is facing interlocking global challenges with developing countries disproportionately affected. A true, effective and functional multilateral system based on international solidarity, unity and cooperation is urgently needed more than ever, he said.
And yet, despite the grave hardships and challenges, developing countries and their populations continue to fall victim to unilateral coercive measures, which run counter to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law, Dai added.
Regrettably, despite the global call to urgently lift unilateral coercive measures, the imposition of these illegal measures continues to cause devastating, sometimes even life-threatening consequences, to targeted countries and their peoples.
Unilateral coercive measures exacerbate existing humanitarian and economic challenges, result in lack of access to essential goods and services such as food, medicine, safe drinking water, fuel and electricity, and negatively affect the enjoyment of human rights, including the right to health and the right to life.
"We reaffirm our opposition to unilateral coercive measures and call on imposing states to immediately and completely cease such practice... Current circumstance calls for solidarity and unity rather than confrontation and division, to address global challenges and promote and protect human rights for all," Dai stressed.
The statement addressed to the UNGA was signed by Antigua & Barbuda, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, China, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Laos, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe
The Palestinians in Gaza must watch in silence as their natural resources are stolen
21 October 2022
Since the beginning of October, news reports have mentioned a tripartite agreement between Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and Israel to develop a natural gas field off the shores of the besieged Gaza Strip. As recently as Monday, Wafa news agency reported PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh as saying that the PA had selected a group of ministers to discuss the issue of Palestinian gas with Egypt and follow up the issue with the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF).
On Tuesday, the Israeli public broadcaster Kan revealed that this trilateral agreement had been reached between Egypt, the PA and Israel, but no details were provided.
Gas exploration off the Gaza coast started in 1999. A year later, the British Gas Company (now the BG Group) discovered gas in a field known as Gaza Marine. It is about 30 kilometres west of the Gaza Strip and is estimated to contain more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The cost of development of the field is estimated at about $1.2 billion. It has remained untapped because the PIF, which is responsible for its development, has been unable to do anything due to restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation. Even the BG Group was obliged to terminate its contract with the PIF due to the Israeli obstacles.
A number of reports since Tuesday have claimed that Israel, the PA and Egypt will benefit from the natural gas taken from Gaza Marine. However, on the same day, Anadolu reported an unnamed Palestinian source as saying that the reports about the tripartite agreement are "inaccurate". The source said that Israel will not get anything from "our" gas. "This is unacceptable," he insisted. "Israel is just required not to obstruct the work."
That is not what one Israeli journalist has told me. According to Baruch Yedid, Israel will indeed have a major share of the revenues from Gaza Marine.
READ: The West faces an energy crisis but still backs Israel as it imposes an energy crisis on Gaza
Other sources reported by Al Araby Al Jadeed said that an Egyptian economic and security delegation has discussed the issue of developing Gaza Marine with Israel. A member of the PLO Executive Committee told Al Monitor that Egypt had informed the PA about Israel's approval to start developing the Palestinian gas field off the Gaza coast. Egypt, said Al Araby Al Jadeed, held several "secret meetings" with Israeli officials to get the occupation state's agreement to start developing Gaza Marine jointly with the PA.
Egyptian efforts to get a share of the gas started last year when, according to Egypt Independent, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) began talks with the PIF and the Consolidated Contractors Company for Oil and Gas (CCC), the parties licensed to develop the field. The PIF owns 27.5 per cent of the field's shares; the CCC owns 27.5 per cent; and 45 per cent will be for the operating company. EGAS hopes to be the developer.
A senior PA official, who asked to remain anonymous, told me that an initial agreement had been reached, but a final deal has yet to be signed. He did not mention any timeline, but reports claim that it could be by the end of this year. The official also said that Israel agreed to get involved in serious talks about the gas at the request of the EU, "hoping that this gas would end up in European storage tanks."
The official explained that under the initial agreement Egypt and Israel will monitor operations in the gas field, with Egypt taking some of the gas by 2025, assuming everything goes smoothly. Most of the gas will be sent to Europe by Israel, which will share the resultant revenues with the PA.
According to the anonymous PA official, some of the revenues will be spent on developing the Palestinian economy in Gaza. "Israel, though, wants to make sure that none of the money goes to Hamas." The occupation state has been claiming for years that it blocked the development of Gaza Marine fearing that Hamas, which has been the de facto authority in the besieged enclave since 2006, would benefit from the profits.
In 2007, the then Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon claimed that Hamas would have used revenues from Gaza Marine to fund attacks against Israel, the PA and "Israeli gas facilities". Since then, nothing has changed on the ground: Hamas still governs the Gaza Strip, and the Israeli-Egyptian siege, backed by the PA and some Arab and European countries, is still in place. And Israel still touts its fears about "security".
READ: The PA condemns Israel's attacks on Palestinians, then attacks them itself
What has changed, however, is the emergent European demand for gas due to the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as the PA's serious need for finance, which the Arab and EU countries as well as the US are either unable or reluctant to provide.
It is now clear that everyone is going to benefit from the natural gas off the coast of Gaza except those who probably need it the most: the Palestinians in the besieged territory. Egypt wins as a developer; the PA gets the revenues as the nominal owner; Israel takes a cut as a facilitator; and the EU gets the gas a consumer. Meanwhile, the residents of Gaza, who have been suffering from a severe lack of cooking gas, oil and electricity for fifteen years and more, will have to watch in silence as their natural resources are stolen from under their noses.
Nobody believes that the revenue from Gaza Marine will, in part, be used to boost Gaza's economy. We have been hearing promise after promise on such matters for years, and nothing has ever materialised, because Israel always comes up with some new "security" issue and refuses to ease or lift the siege. The PA, meanwhile, is very open about its disdain towards the Palestinians in Gaza, so promises from Ramallah are worthless.
Iran will not allow Israel to establish bases near Iranian territory, says senior officer
21 October 2022
Iran will not allow Israel to establish military bases anywhere near Iranian territory, the commander of the ground forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has said.
"The Iranian armed forces and law enforcement agencies defending our land borders are the country's strength against foreign interference," explained Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour on Thursday. "Iran will never allow the fake Zionist entity to have a military and intelligence base in its vicinity or in neighbouring countries."
Pakpour made his comment while attending military exercises in the Aras region. The exercises, he said, have been taking place for nearly ten days.
"They show the strength and power of Iranian armed forces. While elements of the Zionist entity are planning to establish military and intelligence bases in some neighbouring countries, we are working to prevent such a stupid act by the sinister entity," the general concluded.
Hamas: West Bank escalations 'extension of revolution'
21 October 2022
Senior member of Hamas, Osama Hamdan, has said "what is happening in the West Bank is not a passing reaction, but rather a continuous revolutionary situation."
In an interview with Sawt Al-Aqsa radio yesterday evening, Hamdan said the Palestinian people are "unbreakable", and "continue their struggle with a united resistance."
He added that the Israeli occupation is trying to prevent a new intifada from happening, but "the [Palestinian] resistance will continue", adding "we are preparing for the battle of liberation."
"Hamas is the result of accumulated strength and developed performance, and our people are brave people who possess the will and strength."
Hamdan stressed that "the Israeli occupation is trying to postpone the confrontation, opening the door to normalisation and sows discord in the nation in an attempt to weaken it and distract it from Palestine."
Israeli occupation forces have besieged much of the occupied West Bank over the past two weeks in search of resistance fighters belonging to what has been known as the Lions' Den, a group of independent Palestinians who are taking action against occupation and fighting back.
US Blockade Harms the Cuban People by $15 Million Per Day
19 October 2022
Since the blockade began in the 1960s, the United States has harmed Cuba for US$154.2 billion at current prices.
On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez presented the new "Report on the Damage caused by the United States Blockade against Cuba," which will be delivered to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in two weeks.
Over the first seven months of 2022, the arbitrary sanctions maintained by President Joe Biden have caused losses of US$3.8 billion to the Cuban people.
In the first 14 months of the Democratic administration, the blockade caused economic losses of US$15 million a day, the Cuban Foreign Minister highlighted.
Seen from a historical perspective, however, the cost of U.S. policy is much higher. Since the blockade began in the 1960s, the U.S. has harmed Cuba for US$154.2 billion at current prices.
If the depreciation of the dollar against gold is taken into account, that is, if the effect of international inflation is considered, such a figure reaches US$1.391 billion.
Rodriguez also highlighted that the US blockade against Cuba currently has more "aggressive" characteristics than those it had in the past.
"The blockade is an undeniable reality. It is a permanent pandemic. The blockade is an endless hurricane," he said, adding that "the United States would be a better country without a blockade on Cuba."
Venezuela: President Maduro Visits Area Affected by Rains
19 October 2022
He stressed that floods are the result of the harmful effect of global climate change, since extreme weather events are increasingly intense and devastating.
On Monday, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro visited El Castaño, a town in the state of Aragua, where heavy rains made the El Corozal river to overflow, causing three deaths and affecting at least 50 dwellings.
"Some wounded have been evacuated. At least 60 percent of the electrical service will be restored. Right now, we have two areas with natural disasters... and we must attend to them with everything we have available," Maduro said.
The Bolivarian leader stressed that these floods are the result of the harmful effect of global climate change, since extreme weather events are increasingly intense and devastating.
Currently, over 300 security officials are present in El Castaño, where the arrival of some 1,000 additional people is expected to support the rescue and cleaning efforts.
Previously, the Vice Minister for Risk Management Carlos Perez reported that officials from his institution were ready in the municipality of Girardot to attend to the emergency.
The overflow of the Palmerito creek due to the intense rains affected the towns of El Castaño, Palmarito and Corozal.
At the beginning of October, a landslide in Las Tejerias caused over 50 deaths, missing persons, and multiple damages to local infrastructure.
Liz Truss resigns, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history
20 October 2022
Liz Truss said on Thursday she would resign as prime minister, brought down by her economic programme that sent shockwaves through the markets and divided her Conservative Party just six weeks after she was appointed.
A leadership election will be completed within the next week to replace Truss, who is the shortest-serving prime minister in Britain’s history (44 days). George Canning previously held the record, serving 119 days in 1827, when he died.
Speaking outside the door of her Number 10 Downing Street office and residence, Truss accepted that she could not deliver the promises she made when she was running for Conservative leader, having lost the faith of her party.
“I recognise though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,” she said.
“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We’ve agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week. This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security.”
“I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen. Thank you.”
Conservative legislators have increasingly called on Truss to step down after she was forced to junk most of her economic programme which when delivered on Sept. 23 sent the pound and government bond markets tumbling.
She drafted in former health minister Jeremy Hunt as her new finance minister to try to reset her administration, but on Wednesday her lawmakers turned on each other and another senior minister resigned, leaving Truss’s authority in tatters.
Conservative legislators say her most likely successors are either her leadership rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, or Penny Mordaunt, who came third in the race to become the next prime minister just six weeks ago.
The UN human rights regime fissures as OHCHR’s politicized “Assessment” of Xinjiang alienates the Global South
06 October 2022
On 6 October 2022, the UN Human Rights Council (“HRC”) rejected the Western-sponsored draft decision A/HRC/51/L.6 (the “draft decision”) proposing that the HRC hold a debate on Xinjiang under agenda Item 2 at the 52nd HRC regular session in February 2023, with 17 supporting, 19 opposed, and 11 abstaining. The draft decision’s defeat and the closure of 51st HRC regular session on 7 October 2022 provide an opportunity to reflect on the deepening fissures in the UN human rights regime, represented by the HRC and the Office of the High Commissioner of the Human Rights (“OHCHR”), and the growing alienation of the Global South, in particular with regards to Western politicization of human rights and the OHCHR’s complicity in the West’s instrumentalization of human rights as a weapon against developing countries.
Item 2 of HRC sessions generally cover “reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General” and thus customarily cover HRC-mandated proceedings. In the recently concluded 51st HRC regular session, Item 2 discussions included the report of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, established by HRC resolution 39/2, the report of the OHCHR on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, authorized by HRC resolution 46/1, and the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua, authorized by HRC resolution 49/3.
It is on this basis that the West attempted to push the draft decision: “Taking note with interest of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, published on 31 August 2022, [the UN HRC] decides to hold a debate on the situation of human rights in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region at its fifty-second session under agenda item 2.” Even though the OHCHR’s “assessment” of Xinjiang enjoyed no UN HRC mandate which would customarily be required for inclusion as a topic of debate under Item 2, the West pushed ahead with the draft decision, hoping to “legitimize” the “assessment” through an HRC decision.
The OHCHR’s “assessment” of Xinjiang opened the door to the draft decision and the further politicization of the UN human rights regime. By framing the draft decision as due procedure and obscuring the fact that the OHCHR’s “assessment” of Xinjiang never enjoyed an HRC mandate, the West and its allies sought to institutionalize an image of China as a serious human rights violator, one who “may” have committed crimes against humanity, even when the Western campaign to castigate China on Xinjiang never enjoyed the approval of the international community of states. That the vote on the draft decision even happened marked the first time China’s human rights record has specifically been brought up for an HRC vote. By all accounts, this move was a diplomatic escalation, with the blessing and complicity of an OHCHR which acted unilaterally and without a mandate or clearly-defined justification.
The OHCHR through its “assessment” changed the landscape of the HRC. Whereas previously, more states signed joint statements in the HRC supporting China’s position on Xinjiang than states signing joint statements in the HRC condemning China, the vote on the draft decision was of a fundamentally different character than the joint statements. To vote “no” on the draft decision and support China, it was no longer sufficient to uphold the values of non-interference in the context of Xinjiang, as joint statements in the past have done. Countries voting “no” on the draft decision must publicly express their displeasure either with the Western politicization of human rights in the HRC or with the conduct of the OHCHR or with both. In an increasingly delicate time of international turbulence, this was a much higher “ask” than simply reiterating China’s right to sovereignty and non-interference. It is perhaps safe to hazard a guess that the West and its allies were counting on the unwillingness of states to openly express their reservations vis-a-vis the OHCHR and the UN-backed global human rights apparatus behind it to push the draft decision and succeed in their goal of turning China into an international pariah.
The results speak for themselves. While the political implications of siding against the OHCHR seemed to have turned away some countries, the additional pressure from the Western escalation also had the opposite effect of rallying previously silent countries to support China, resulting in only the second motion to be defeated in the HRC in its 16-year history since its founding in 2006.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, which has stayed silent on Xinjiang in the HRC context, voted no. So did Kazakhstan, the host of a prominent anti-China diaspora group, Atajurt, and the launching site of several Western NGOs and other actors in opposing China on Xinjiang, such as the Xinjiang Victims Database. Senegal too, generally known as one of the more pro-West governments in Africa, voted no, a stance no less significant because Senegal this year holds the rotating presidency of the African Union. Perhaps most surprisingly, Qatar, who hosts the influential Al Jazeera media outlet, a regular critic of China on Xinjiang, also voted no.
Of 17 states voting for the draft decision, only 4 are of the Global South. On the other hand, all opponents and abstainers (sans Ukraine) are of the Global South. Some of the opponents of the draft decision, as outlined above, would seemingly have strong interests in pressing this issue. This points to a latent anxiety on the part of the Global South, as well as to a deepening cleft between the West and its allies and the rest of the Global South in an increasingly bitter and escalating climate in the human rights space.
Global South disquiet with the OHCHR and its “assessment” of Xinjiang, as well as with the politicization of the HRC, was palpable throughout the 51st session. Discussions of Xinjiang at the 51st HRC session took place in an Item 2 “general debate on the oral update by the High Commissioner” on 13 September and in an Item 4 “general debate on the human rights situations that require the Council’s attention” on 26 September.
On 13 September, China and 27 other countries (including Bolivia, Cameroon, Cuba, Eritrea, Nepal, UAE, and Venezuela, who all voted on the draft decision) expressly criticized the OHCHR’s Xinjiang “assessment.” Several states expressly called for respect of China’s sovereignty (for example, Lesotho, Mali). Others urged the OHCHR to follow established protocol and the principles of impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, in the spirit of constructive international dialogue and cooperation without double standards and politicization (such as Nigeria, the Philippines, Serbia, Vietnam).
The expressions of disquiet continued on 26 September in discussions about the Council’s attention and role in human rights work. Barbados held that “there is no room for double standards or the politicisation of human rights” before urging respect for the sovereignty of China. Malawi expressed worry of a “recurring perception [that the HRC] has become selective and polarised by politicization.” India argued that “the Council needs to function in a cooperative, non-confrontational, non-politicized and objective manner” and noted that “the deliberations in the Council under this Agenda Item have been unproductive and non-conducive to realization of the intended goals of promotion and protection of human rights.”
Perhaps most notably, Kenya, known as one of the more pro-West governments in Africa, and a state that has previously kept silence on the Xinjiang issue, issued an unusually strong statement on 26 September.
“Further, independence and territorial integrity of sovereign States and non-interference of their internal affairs represent the basic norms that govern international relations. In this regard, issues related to China’s internal affairs in Xinjiang should be left to China to address.
We are concerned that the Council may be used to pursue matters that have not been duly investigated or even authenticated. We, therefore, maintain that all states should promote and protect human rights through constructive dialogue and cooperation and firmly oppose politicization of human rights and double standards.”
Continued appeal for the HRC to embrace a constructive approach and reject politicization persisted on 6 October during the vote on the draft decision. While critical voices such as Bolivia accused the West of instrumentalizing the HRC for its own geopolitical ends and of using the cover of “procedure” and “debate” to open up a channel of continual attack on China, even moderate voices also expressed concern over the deepening politicization of the HRC.
In voting no on the draft decision, Indonesia reiterated that “[ensuring the safety and well-being of Muslims in Xinjiang] should be the sole focus of the Human Rights Council” and that the draft decision to hold a debate on Xinjiang would not make meaningful progress “especially because it does not enjoy the consent and support of the concerned countries.” Qatar similarly called for the HRC to “refrain from steps that could be described as politicization and could exasperate the situation” and reaffirmed the need to respect the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and the sovereignty of states, urging dialogue to settle differences in opinion. In abstaining, Mexico noted that it has consistently supported debate on the human rights situation in various regions of the world, so long as the debate is done constructively, and urged against politicization of the HRC’s work.
The picture of the HRC and the UN’s human rights regime, in light of all the foregoing, is grim. Far from being a system dedicated to the technical and non-political promotion of human rights, the UN human rights regime is more split, politicized, and polarized than ever before. An air of distrust and antagonism dominates discussions in the HRC. The fact that all country-specific resolutions of the HRC are aimed at developing countries only highlights the roots of Global South frustration with the UN’s human rights regime, made visible through the Global South’s reaction to the politically-motivated draft decision.
The OHCHR shares no small part of the responsibility for this sorry state of affairs. While the OHCHR is purposed to be a professional and technical body dedicated to the impartial promotion of human rights, the OHCHR has seemingly already sided with the West and its allies over China through its “assessment”. The OHCHR also enabled the draft decision through its “assessment”, thereby perpetuating the historic HRC bias against the Global South. This cannot but instill a sense of worry and foreboding among the Global South.
The OHCHR’s “assessment” enabling the draft decision was startling biased, disregarded input from China’s government, civil society, and people, did not enjoy the mandate of the UN HRC, and violated the principles and guidelines of the general mandate of the OHCHR as outlined in Resolution 48/141, under which the OHCHR claimed it was authorized to pursue the “assessment.” The conduct of the OHCHR in selectively ignoring the high-profile human rights violations of Western countries, including alleged crimes against humanity such as war crimes, while seemingly embarking on an unsanctioned crusade against a major developing country, is nothing more than double standards at best and a willingness to abet Western countries in instrumentalizing and politicizing human rights as a tool against developing countries at worst. From the perspective of the Global South, the OHCHR has become little more than an instrument for the West to impose its will on developing countries, seemingly beholden only to the interest of Western countries, the citizens of whom constitute 80% of the OHCHR’s staff.
The context of increasing hostility in the HRC and the appeals of Global South countries urging the OHCHR to return to protocol, the principles of impartiality, objectivity, and non-selectivity points towards an OHCHR that has alienated the Global South through its action, not least through its unsanctioned and flawed “assessment” of the situation in Xinjiang. That a Western-initiated motion, given powerful political impetus by the OHCHR’s work and “assessment”, would fail along partisan lines dividing the West from the rest is, in itself, a highly concerning indication of the OHCHR’s loss of credibility and currency with the governments and people of the Global South.
The alienation of the Global South in human rights spaces, which threatens the efficacy of the UN human rights regime, is set to only increase over time, unless the OHCHR can rectify its behavior and return to its mandate of impartiality, objectivity, and non-selectivity, or Western countries cease politicizing human rights and work instead to create a constructive and technical environment for the promotion of human rights.
 The draft decision was sponsored by Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, and the United States. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G22/505/63/PDF/G2250563.pdf?OpenElement.
To pass, the decision must have had more supporting than opposed, as absentations are not counted.
Voting in favor were: Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Netherlands, Paraguay, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Somalia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Voting against were: Bolivia, Cameroon, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Gabon, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, Sudan, UAE, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.
Abstaining were: Argentina, Armenia, Benin, Brazil, Gambia, India, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Ukraine.
The UN HRC is made up of 48 states who are elected on staggered terms. Russia is currently suspended from the HRC due to a 7 April 2022 UN General Assembly resolution, leaving 47 members. The UN HRC mandates 13 members from “African States”, 13 members from “Asia-Pacific States”, 6 members from “Eastern European States”, 8 members from “Latin American and Caribbean States”, and 7 members from “Western Europe and Other States” (which includes, among other countries, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Türkiye, and Israel).
The geographic spread of the votes are: African States 1-8-4, Asia-Pacific States 3-7-3, Eastern European States 4-0-2, Latin American and Caribbean States 2-3-3, Western Europe and Other States 7-0-
Issued by NEHAWU International Service Centre
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