UAE’s Potential UNHRC’s Membership Makes Mockery of the UN System
The United Arab Emirates is planning to run for one of five seats allocated for the Asia-Pacific at the UN Human Rights council for the period between 2022-2024. The UAE has been involved in many conflicts in the Middle East such as in Libya and Yemen, and others, which have resulted in grave human rights violations against civilians by militias it supports.
Since that there are five countries running for to occupy the five seats, the fact that the UAE will have a seat at the UNHRC makes mockery of the UN system. Aside from its violations overseas, dozens of journalists, human rights defenders and academics are held in the UAE for expressing their opinions.
The UAE is using the wealth of the country to buy political stances and expand its influence by promoting itself as a beacon for human rights, while facts on the ground speak of another reality of human rights violations including supporting militias that commit torture in Yemen and Libya and are accused to planting mines in civilians areas, which claimed the lives of many innocent people.
Besides, militias supported by the UAE in Libya are accused of mass killings of people whose remains were found in a dozen of mass graves uncovered in the country. The fact that the UAE donated 22$ million to renovate a conference room at the UN headquarters in Geneva does not make it a committed country to the UN system and human rights.
The UAE has too announced in 2020 that it is planning to donate $589,425 to be used in an anti-corruption project initiated by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The UAE is using political money to influence the bodies of the UN and its membership should not be accepted as long as it does not end its support for human rights violations both in the UAE and abroad.
The UN different bodies should tell countries involved in human rights violations that using political money is not acceptable and human rights will always come first. The International UN Watch calls on all human rights defenders and NGOs as well as states at the UNHRC to take needed measures to make sure a country such as the UAE which is heavily involved in human rights violations in the region does not take the UN as a platform to promote its propaganda at the UN.