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Large group within UN call for respect toward any country's internal affairs | Updated: 2022-06-15 07:42
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A general view of the Human Rights Council during the address of Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 13, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

A group of nearly 70 countries called on Tuesday for respect of sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-interference in other states' internal affairs.

In a joint statement delivered by the Cuban representative on the opening day of the 50th session of United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, they said that Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet related issues are China's internal affairs.

"We oppose politicization of human rights and double standards, or interference in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights," the joint statement said.

"We maintain that all parties should abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations; adhere to the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity; and respect the right of the people of each state to choose independently the path for development in accordance with their national conditions."

The joint statement was a response to a statement by Paul Bekkers, the Dutch ambassador to the UN in Geneva, who said that "we continue to be gravely concerned about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region."

The joint statement delivered by the Cuban representative in support of China stressed that all human rights should be treated with the same emphasis, with sufficient importance attached to economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development in particular.

"Today human beings are faced with multiple challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The international community should uphold multilateralism, strengthen solidarity and coordination, respond jointly to global challenges, advance world peace and development, and promote and protect human rights," said the joint statement.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet paid a six-day visit to China and its Xinjiang region in late May. She said that her mission had wide and open discussions with people from different sectors in the region, including prisoners and former trainees of vocational education and training centers. All these meeting were organized by her delegation.

On Tuesday, Chen Xu, China's permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, said that the UN Human Rights Council has become increasingly politicized and confrontational and with rampant disinformation, adding that this runs counter to the original purpose of the council.

"Multilateral human rights mechanisms should serve as a platform for cooperation and dialogue, rather than a venue for division and confrontation," he said.

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