The United Nations Human Rights Council is meeting Monday in Geneva for the first time in three months after COVID-19 lockdowns. The global body has prioritized the issue of alleged “systemic racism” and police brutality in the U.S. as one of their first orders of business to tackle on their first day back in session.
The decision to discuss the topic was motivated by a letter sent by a number of African leaders, including Burkina Faso diplomat Dieudonne Desire Sougouri, coordinator of the African Group, who formally requested a debate on the subject Monday, according to reports.
“The death of George Floyd is unfortunately not an isolated incident,” Dieudonne Desire Sougouri wrote in his letter to the Council, adding that “The numbers of previous cases of unarmed people of African descent who met the same fate because of uncontrolled police violence are legion.”
The U.S. left the Human Rights Council in 2018. At the time, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the Trump administration’s justification for the move, describing that the countries on the Council “say one thing and do another.”
“In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble aims have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them,” President Trump said during his 2017 address before the U.N. General Assembly. “For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council.”
Trump added, “The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.”
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U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities
On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.
“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.
“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.
Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
National Review reports:
The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.
While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.
National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.
Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.” On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.
“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) June 28, 2022
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