Genava, 24 June: Expressing grave concerns over the “Uyghur genocide” in China’s Xinjiang province, Canada delivered a joint statement on behalf of 42 countries at the UN Humans Rights Council on Tuesday.
“We urge China to allow immediate, meaningful, and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers,” Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Leslie Norton said at the UNHRC meeting on behalf of 40 countries.
The statement was backed by major countries Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, Britain, Spain, and the United States, among others. Norton also called on China to implement the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s Xinjiang-related recommendations, including ending the arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
The countries also urged China to allow immediate, meaningful, and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including the High Commissioner. The statement also raised concerns about the deterioration of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong under the National Security Law and about the human rights situation in Tibet.
This is the first time that UN rights official has suggested a timeline for the visit amid the growing pressure from the international community to secure access to Xinjiang.