Today in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council took a historic vote on a formal discussion of the human rights situation in Xinjiang. We laud the many principled members of the Council that took the courageous step of voting for this measure and the many observers who cosponsored it. I was proud, alongside Norway, to introduce the draft decision to the Council.
We are disappointed that, by a narrow margin, the Council was unable to agree to hold a discussion about serious human rights concerns raised in the recent independent assessment by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that is part of a growing body of expressed concerns by credible sources. No country should be immune from a discussion at the Council. We will continue to work closely with our partners to seek justice and accountability for victims of human rights abuses and violations, including the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. We remain undeterred in our commitment to defend human rights and will continue to insist that the Human Rights Council can and must be a meaningful forum for discussion of these issues. We call upon Beijing to live up to its human rights commitments and obligations, and to the ideals for which we all should strive to uphold.