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China regrets U.S. push for human rights language in Security Council resolution on South Sudan

Amb. Dai Bing. Photo via @Chinamission2un

United Nations | Xinhua | A Chinese envoy on Tuesday regretted the push by the United States for human rights-related texts in a draft Security Council resolution on the mandate renewal for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

China had to abstain in Tuesday’s voting after the United States, the penholder on South Sudan, refused to make revisions, said Dai Bing, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

UNMISS has made sustained and enormous efforts in facilitating the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement, protecting civilians, delivering humanitarian relief, and advancing South Sudan’s nation-building. China applauds the mission’s important role and supports the renewal of its mandate, said Dai in an explanation of vote after the vote.

However, throughout the consultation process, the United States had pushed for the inclusion of many human rights-related texts, resulting in a very unbalanced draft resolution, he said.

South Sudan is the youngest UN member. The international community should support the country in gradually exploring a path of human rights development that is suitable for its national conditions, instead of resorting to criticism or pressure, not to mention interference in its internal affairs, he said. “The Security Council is not the appropriate forum for human rights discussions.”

The language in the draft makes reference to “human rights defenders.” Internationally, there is no clear, unified definition for this term. China opposes this reference, said Dai.

The draft also asks UNMISS to assess the effects of climate change on humanitarian situations, a job that should rightly fall on the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs or the country team, instead of UNMISS. China does not appreciate assigning climate change-related mandates to peacekeeping missions without an in-depth analysis of climate change impacts and a clear understanding of climate change as a driver of security risks, he said. “We request that there should be no human resource or budget increase due to this inappropriate mandate.”

In fact, on the aforementioned issues, several Security Council members repeatedly requested revisions. But the penholder failed to heed their calls and take on board their reasonable suggestions, and did not demonstrate a penholder’s inclusiveness. In view of this, China had no option but to abstain, said Dai.

China will always stand with the South Sudanese people in their journey on nation-building. China is ready to work with UNMISS to make positive contributions to the peace and stability of South Sudan, he said.

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Xinhua

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