News / Asia

    Criticism of UN Chief Growing on Silence on China Rights

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, shakes hands with China's President Hu Jintao during their meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday, 1 Nov 2010
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, shakes hands with China's President Hu Jintao during their meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday, 1 Nov 2010

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has come under increasing fire this week, as his commitment to defending human rights has been questioned after a visit to China in which he was seen to have been less than vocal on human rights abuses there.

    Mr. Ban often says that peace, security and human rights are the three main pillars of the United Nations.

    But Mr. Ban's commitment to human rights is being questioned after he visited China and failed to raise the issue with President Hu Jintao.

    Mr. Ban also did not publicly call for the release from prison of Liu Xiaobo, a vocal critic of China's government who is serving an 11-year sentence for co-authoring Charter 08 - a petition published to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Mr. Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month.

    On Monday, the United Nations said Mr. Ban raised a number of issues with President Hu, including climate change, the Korean Peninsula and Africa. But his spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said human rights was not raised.

    But as the criticism has grown, the U.N. has added that Mr. Ban did raise the topic of human rights with "other Chinese leaders," although his spokesman would not elaborate to reporters on who they were. "Sometimes when tackling the question of human rights, which is undoubtedly important, it is also important to do this in a well thought-out way.  And sometimes that means it is not always played out as much as you would like, in the glare of publicity," the spokesman said.

    Spokesman Nesirky also emphasized that the U.N. chief did address the subject Wednesday during a speech at the Central Party School.

    In a text of that speech, the Secretary-General speaks about the values embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, saying they are "unrealized in far too much of the globe." He said those rights must be made real in people's lives, adding "that will take a global effort. China's voice and example are critical."

    But Human Rights Watch U.N. Advocacy Director Philippe Bolopion asks if the U.N. Secretary-General goes to China and does not mention human rights, then who will?

    "In our view, the meeting that counts the most is the meeting with the president. And if as the U.N. Secretary-General during that meeting you don't bring out the question of human rights, you are really failing the organization and failing people in China who are trying to defend human rights, and who have been under increasing pressure since the nomination of the Nobel Peace Prize," he said.

    The Secretary-General is nearing the end of his first five-year term and is expected to run for re-election next year. Some critics have said he is afraid to ruffle the feathers of veto-wielding Security Council member China, who could end his hopes of a second term.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora