GENEVA, February 29. The UN Council on human rights (HRC) works successfully, however the growing level of confrontation and politicization of this intergovernmental body would discredit human rights as a concept. This opinion was expressed in an interview with the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin in connection with the opening Monday of the 31st session of the HRC.
The danger of interpretation
“This year the HRC celebrates its tenth anniversary and our assessment of the HRC is working successfully”, – the diplomat said. At the same time, he stressed that the Council, composed of 47 States, there are problems associated with the fact that “it is used as a political tool”.
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“Unfortunately, the last time in the HRC increases the level of confrontation and politicization,” Borodavkin said that in his opinion, such phenomena are “significantly hamper the work of the Board, discredit human rights as a concept”.
The reasons for this phenomenon, the envoy sees that a particular group of States “are trying to promote under the guise of the only true interpretation of those or other norms in human rights interpretation, which often does not correspond to the spirit and letter of the universally recognized tools, and aims to achieve objectives, often far from human rights.”
Examples of such interpretations of the Borodavkin called provoking instability in separate States, creating the conditions for the activities of the various forces, the promotion of controversial and ambiguous concepts, the promotion of lifestyle and socio-political models, leading to the destruction of personality and social degradation.
Dialogue as the only alternative
The only possible alternative to this, the diplomat believes “the principle of cooperation and dialogue on an equal and mutually respectful basis”, despite the fact that human rights concerns today should not be considered outside the political context. “It is unlikely at the present time it is possible to separate human rights from politics. But this does not mean that we must use human rights, the human rights dimension of the UN and related tools to solve political problems, – the diplomat noted.
Moscow plots against the country
The Borodavkin warned that under the current four-week session, several initiatives “will be politicised and will be focused on the defamation and punishment of individual States”. So the session will focus on the situation of human rights in Syria, the DPRK, Eritrea, Iran and Myanmar.
“Russia to such endeavors is negative, because we believe that without a dialogue with the concerned state and without engaging in real constructive positive interaction effect would not be achieved”, – said the head of the Russian diplomatic mission.
The Russian initiative
Speaking about the goals of Russia at the present session, he announced that Russia will deliver two key initiatives. “The first thematic discussion, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the International covenants on human rights, which will be held during the high-level segment session on 1 March,” – said the permanent representative, confirming that it will open the Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
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“In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Pacts the international community must once again draw attention to the obligations which they contain, to consider ratifying these treaties and withdrawal of reservations and declarations to specific articles of these treaties,” said the diplomat.
The second initiative is the resolution on the integrity of the judicial system, an updated version of which was prepared by Moscow. “The main message of the resolution is to note that everyone should have access to justice regardless of legal status,” said Borodavkin, admitting that “due to the fragmentation of court systems, the people often years and sometimes decades are held without trial and have no right of appeal against unfair decisions about their detention”. As an example, he cited the prison at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba that is not closed, despite this back in 2009, the promise of U.S. President Barack Obama. On February 24 he announced the plan to close the prison.
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Last week a non-governmental organization Amnesty International has criticized Washington for failing to respect human rights in Guantanamo. It was created 15 years ago after the start of the operation against the group “al-Qaeda” (banned in Russia). “Against prisoners at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. still does not respect human rights, adhering to their vicious principles of the “global war” and the position on the non-applicability of international law in the field of human rights to such detainees,” said human rights defenders.
31st session of the HRC will continue until March 24. The meetings will be considered by the human rights considerations around the world – from the situation in Syria, where 5 years not stop the civil war, to discuss how the world will respect the rights of children, persons with disabilities. Will hear reports from the special rapporteurs on different topics and also adopted the Universal periodic review of 12 States.
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