Nov 06, 2019

Roundtable: Compromised Space at the United Nations

Compromised Space: How the EU Can Address Blocking, Bullying and Reprisals at the United Nations against Minorities and Indigenous Rights Defenders?

Roundtable Discussion

6 November 2019 | 11:00 - 12:30

Room A3H1 - European Parliament


On 6 November 2019, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) will organise a roundtable discussion at the European Parliament titled Compromised Space: How the EU can address bullying, blocking and reprisals at the United Nations. The event is hosted by MEP Isabel Santos (S&D) and will bring together unrepresented diplomats with members of the European Parliament, embassy representatives and NGOs to discuss the challenges faced by unrepresented people in accessing international forums such as the United Nations.  

The report Compromised Space, a collaborative effort of the UNPO, the University of Oxford, the Tibet Justice Center and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), details how states such as China, Russia, Iran and other repressive regimes are manipulating the United Nations Human Rights System by systematically blocking those seeking to hold them accountable for gross human rights violations perpetrated against minorities, indigenous communities and other unrepresented peoples. It identifies a systemic attack on the United Nations human rights system by these governments, led largely by China, Russia and Iran.

The report details testimonies of human rights activists, such as the Assyrian people in the Middle East, the Kurdish people in Iran, the Uyghur and Tibetan people in China, and the Crimean Tatar detailing the obstacles and blocking faced by them while accessing international forums, particularly the United Nations. It also reflects the disturbing finding that the United Nations Human Rights system is being systemically undermined by perpetrator regimes and that instead of pushing back against this, democratic states, including many European states, are turning a blind eye, allowing the voices of the unrepresented to be further oppressed.

Against this backdrop, the roundatable aims to bring together policymakers, advocates and representatives of unrepresented peoples to allow for constructive dialogue on how the EU can  address blocking, bullying and reprisals at the United Nations against minorities and indigenous rights defenders.