Reinsalu: China not asked Estonia to support UN Human Rights Council bid

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu attending a video conference.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu attending a video conference. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has told ERR China has not asked Estonia for support in its bid to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

In October, China, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will run for membership of the Human Rights Council. Estonia will have the opportunity to vote for the new member.

Due to China's repression of the Uighur population in Xinjiang and the crackdown in Hong Kong the bid for a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council has raised concerns.

On Wednesday, opposition leader Kaja Kallas said China's treatment of its Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang is reminiscent of the Holocaust. In June, Estonia and 27 countries issued a joint statement to grant the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights access to Xinjiang.

"China has not separately asked for support from Estonia," Reinsalu said.

"Certainly, the Human Rights Council has been a place where Estonia and like-minded countries have repeatedly raised concerns about the human rights situation in China."

A country can be a member of the council for three years and this period can be extended. Members have veto rights.

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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