Mar 30, 2022
Image: EUJS Twitter
The Chinese UN Human Rights Council delegation attempted to cut short the speech of Sacha Guttmann, the co-president of 'The European Union of Jewish Students' when he called out the Chinese regime for its persecution of the Uyghurs.
Vice-President: I give the floor to the representative of the European Union of Jewish Students.
Sacha Guttman: I am Sacha Guttmann, the co-president of the Belgian Union of Jewish Students, and speaking on behalf of the European Union of the Jewish Students, the umbrella organization representing students from thirty-six countries.
This year, many have recognized and condemned the genocide, the risk of genocide, or the atrocities committed by the Chinese government against the Uyghurs. Many member states argue that the intent of the Chinese Government is not clear, and thus the conditions for genocide are not met.
For us to act, do we need to wait for an official declaration from the Chinese Government, stating their intent to commit genocide? The objective of the UN Genocide Convention is not only to punish but also to prevent any occurrence of such atrocity.
We need to act now.
The European youth, which has been mobilizing against the Uyghur genocide this past year, now has its eyes turned at you. While the condemnations of the Uyghur genocide coming from UN member states are important, the actions of the Human Rights Council are essential. You are an institution that can change history. It is time for the Human Rights Council to take an active stance against the genocide by sending an independent fact-finding...
INTERRUPTION/ Vice President: Point of order by the delegation of China.
*Representative of China: Vice President, the speaker, in his statement, uses abusive language, which China opposes. The so-called genocide is nothing but a lie fabricated by anti-China forces, and it is an insult and defiance to all Chinese people. In China, all ethnic groups are equal, and the legitimate rights of all minority groups are fully protected. Today, all people, including those in 'Xinjiang' enjoy peace, happiness, and unprecedented rights and dignity. These are the highest and the best human rights.
China, as a country that always puts people first and raises peace, it's [absolutely] impossible to find a foothold for genocide. The statement that genocide exists in 'Xinjiang' is a complete lie. China requests the Vice-President to urge the speaker to stop fabricating and spreading lies and stop using abusive language. Thank you, Vice-President.
Vice-President: Thank you. Let me recall that the speakers need to contextualize interventions according to the term of each agenda item. We are currently discussing item 8 of the agenda, which is 'follow up and the implementation of the Vienna declaration and program of action.
As long as a speaker is addressing human rights issues relevant to the agenda item under consideration and is situating his/her comments within this context, references to countries are permissible.
With this in mind, I give the floor back to the speaker to conclude.
Sacha Guttmann: It is time for the Human Rights Council to take an active stance against the genocide by sending an independent fact-finding mission to 'Xinjiang' and organizing a special session on the Uyghur crisis, as we already asked a year ago.
Once more, as young Jews, we remind you that "Never Again" must be "Right Now". Thank you.
*Uyghur Times does not endorse the views of the UNHRC Chinese representative.