China Fights for Linguistic Minorities in SOCHUM—as Long as They’re Not Tibetan

BY KALI CROKE (FOX News) & SAMAH HASSAN (The Pioneer)

While China drafted a working paper in the Social and Humanitarian committee (SOCHUM) promoting the rights of linguistic minorities across the world, Tibetan language activist faces five to 15 years in prison for “inciting separatism”.

Tashi Wangchuk was detained two years ago after appearing in a documentary in which he pursued legal action against a local government said to have suppressed Tibetan language education. The Communist Party’s crackdown echoes the era of the nation’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s, when the Chinese government forcefully discouraged Tibet’s spoken language and culture.

Now, in SOCHUM, China continues to espouse a policy of “national integration” in which the delegation of China strongly believes in the integration of linguistic minorities in every nation. This is contrary to the fact that China is monopolizing schools and shutting down schools that teach the Tibet language and only permitting chinese mandarin in schools.

This policy of “national integration” has been felt nothing more than a euphemism used to disguise the reigning Communist Party’s efforts to eradicate semblances of minority communities in the homogenous nation. It is said that nearly 60 percent of all young Tibetans do not know how to speak their mother tongue.

Since the Communist Party has a nearly unilateral say on the outcome of trials, it is likely that Wangchuk will be found guilty. The delegates of China, however, refused to admit that their nation equivalates linguistic minority advocacy with treason.

When asked whether the Party is pursuing movements where other dialects are discouraged, delegation of China insisted that “integration is important and as a country we don’t want separatism within nations because it divides nations.” The delegates preferred not to comment on the movements created.

The delegation of China added that controlling a country of one billion people was not easy and handling different civilians of different minorities was difficult to manage.

“We are doing our best to try and maintain minorities and prevent separatism because we want peace” the delegate said.

 

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Commentary: Major Powers Fall Flat at UN Committee on Linguistic Minorities

By Justin Doane (Reuters) & Gabrielle Rivas (Asahi Shimbun) 

BOSTON, Mass. (Reuters, Asahi Shimbun) – In an annual conference held in Boston by the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee of the United Nations, or SOCHUM, a number of delegations from across the globe met to discuss ways of improving the lives of citizens worldwide.

Though the committee opened up on Thursday with high expectations from a number of delegates, proposed solutions seem to have reached a standstill among committee members. In one notable press conference, the delegation of the United States of America was quoted as having said, “…within our own country’s borders, not including our colonies…” prompting jeers from committee members in attendance.

The delegation of the USA stated initially that they were hoping to improve the lives of linguistic minorities, but that before creative solutions could be found, a definition for what exactly constitutes a linguistic minority must be made.

“We are not allowing people to say that a national minority does not exist if they are harming these people, we believe that this transcends sovereignty when you are hurting your citizens,” the delegation said.

On the issue of censorship being used to silence linguistic minority opinions, the USA was asked if they believed this constituted “hurting your citizens.” In response, they said, “In our linguicide clause we include all laws that are intending to censor specific languages,” though one correspondent did point out that many laws in the United States prevent public schools from teaching a second language, further questioning their exact stance on preserving linguistic minorities.

In addition to the contradictory opinions and actions of the United States within the committee,

As the delegation of the United States’ contradictory opinions remained in question, another problem arose from the delegation of the People’s Republic of China.

Chinese delegates spoke of their desire to create an inclusive country, however this directly misrepresents beliefs and actions of the Chinese government in the past. The Chinese government has shut down schools where students learn Tibetan, and the Chinese communist party also only permits Mandarin in schools.

The Chinese occupation of Tibet is an international concern due to China’s presence in the nation. For Chinese delegates to say they support inclusion and the integration of linguistic minorities within the committee contradicts the ways China has interacted with countries they preside over. “We want to bring nations together by having an office language, along with giving other minorities the ability to understand their language,” a delegate of China said.

It is strange for the delegation of China to speak about inclusiveness and on improving the lives of minorities when in the past the Chinese government has acted differently. Many Tibetans feel as if the Chinese have taken over their country, and are trying to erase their culture.

For instance, the Chinese government has controlled language use and religious practices in Tibet for as long as China has claimed possession of the region. The U.S. State department in 2016 reported China has repressed religious practices through “extrajudicial killings, prolonged detention without trial, torture, and arrests of individuals.”

Although these actions are clear acts of persecution, Chinese delegates again said “we as a country are against separatism and that’s what we are trying to get at.”

Moving forward the delegations of China and the United States will hopefully address these concerns before the annual meeting ends on Sunday.

 

UNHRC: Discussions have started on Third Session’s Working Papers

By: ANDREA MORANTE, The New York Times

Member states from the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) have continued to discuss the key aspects of Working Papers presented at the Third Committee session. The concept of LGBTQ and LGBTI+1 have been discussed by signatories from the LGBTI+1 and the Born This Way blocs, and a possible merge between the blocks is of “high likelihood” according to the Delegations of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Last committee session, member states from the UNHRC presented their Working Papers and engaged in a question and answer. During the dynamic, the Born This Way bloc stated how it “felt uncomfortable with that terminology” of LGBT+1 according to the Delegation of The United Kingdom.
“After hearing about the viewpoint of the Born This WAY bloc, we have decided to overview its perspective and consider the establishment of international terms that can best represent the inclusiveness we want to promote,” stated the United Kingdom. With
this, both blocs will be working to agree on a new acronym for their Draft Resolutions, as well as the placement amendment, or elimination of clauses that would be part of the Draft Resolution that will be presented during the next committee session.

“The process might take time for us to finish, however we believe that merging our blocs could be a positive way to hear the perspectives of more member states, and thus provide holistic approaches to the issues we wish to tackle,” stated The International
Federation of International Human Rights.

“We still have some pending issues that we need to discuss before this happens, for instance, we are yet looking to find the way in which we will be adapting the different pillars that we have placed in our Working Papers throughout last sessions,” stated the delegation of Panama.

While the Born This Way block has set the pillars of “legal, social, economic, educational, and regional aspects”, the LION Pride block has set the pillars of “prevention, reaction, and international action,” stated the United Kingdom.

“We consider that negotiations so far have made it likely that delegates will want to keep the pillars of the LION Pride block, as the accommodation of the programs that Born This Way would be much more reasonable to adjust. Plenty of the clauses- such as
the Rainbow Sticker Initiative and the Restart mechanism- could be added to other preventive campaigns we are already offering and such,” mentioned the United States of America.

The New York Times is yet to report on the outcomes of the ongoing negotiations between the LION Pride and Born This Way bloc, as well as on the possible merges that blocs from UNHRC will be arranging before Draft Resolutions are presented.

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Delegations of The United Kingdom, Georgia, Brazil, Belgium, Albania, the United States of America, and the International Federation of International Human Rights gather to discuss the proposals placed in the Third Session of HNMUN 2018.

Blinded By the Light: Ukraine Flustered By Press Conference

BY EMILY SCHEPPEGRELL, Times of India

The first press conference of Saturday morning was held by an array of other journalists, questioning, photographing, and recording the Special Session of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The topic was “The Russo-Ukrainian Conflict” and delegates worked to find solutions to the tense situation in Crimea and the Donbas Region. Russia especially plays a volatile role, as they are suspected of assisting Russian separatist rebels in the Ukraine. However, throughout the conference, the Ukraine has made some questionable choices in allies and debates.

The press conference began with a number of questions directed towards various countries. Nations like the Russian Federation and Kosovo did an excellent job of answering their questions eloquently and sensibly, despite the combination of separate opinions in the room. Albania supported “potential autonomy and electoral rights to the cities of Donbas…”.

Kazakhstan split their time with the Russian Federation describing a collaborative plan. “We need a specific timeline, which we have. We need a ceasefire, which we have. We need to establish peace, which we have,” declared Kazakhstan.

However, the delegation of the Ukraine refused to comment when press reporters asked them specific questions. “… can I say, ‘no comment’? Do you mind?” the delegate asked nervously. “Well, I do mind,” the Fox News reporter responded, “but you can say that.” No other delegate at the committee chose to respond with “no comment.”

For another question involving funding to aid corruption, Ukraine stated, “We have several points in our resolution that combat corruption… I don’t have the specifics with me now but we do address it.” Amid the flurry of flash photography, the Ukrainian delegate appeared unprepared to answer the press corps’ questions. It seemed odd that they could not name a single point in their resolution to answer the question. Next, when asked about requesting funding from outside sources like USA, a long silence covered the room, finally broken by the delegate with “no comment.” While refusing to comment is certainly an option, the way they did it appeared not to be a strategic move, but prompted by a lack of knowledge on the topic and their working paper.

BREAKING NEWS: Commonwealth of Independent States: Nervous Ukraine Avoids Questions During Press Conference

BY SILVANA RODRIGUEZ, The Boston Globe

UKRAINE (The Boston Globe) — During a press conference in the committee with respect to a recent event: the death of six civilians by rebels in Kharkov funded by Lithuania. Also the industries cut and occupation of houses.

The delegations didn’t really have many responses the questions that appeared since the alliances seem to be breaking on the new, but inside committees they work as allies.

The Boston Globe was particularly curious to the response of Ukraine referred to these actions, but when asked, the main responses where “Uhm, sorry no comments.” What country does not comment on terrorist actions taken into their civilians? Ukraine doesn’t care? Has it something to hide?

Ukraine relations with the Russian Federation seem to have come to an end in the outside since they have decided to back up the rebels taking Ukrainian territory, but when asked questions about their current relations, responses were just doubts that kept us with more questions.

Is there a possibility for the fragile balance on the commonwealth to be broken? No one seems to have a clear answer. While some members believe that the best solutions rely on humanitarian aid as Doctors without borders, other as Kazakhstan support long term with infrastructure.

Ukraine just seems lost, and unreliable for any alliance when it happens to be impossible to respond to simple questions. But the big picture for the whole committee does not seem to favorable.

Here the most important questions:

Reporter: can you comment on the recent announcement on an economical way in Russian Federation? ¨

DWB: The main impact it would have on the economic situation on Ukraine is that the government would have to deploy different measures to give support to people that have been affected by rebels in Ukraine, nevertheless is important to considers humanitarian assistance of NGOs as Doctors Without Borders given the financial limitation Ukraine could have. We will try to tackle and assist those affected.

Reporter:  understanding the whole block has proposed to invest in infrastructure so why is Kazakhstan asking for more infrastructure when their people need humanitarian help and their lives will be affected now, why are you investing in infrastructure?

Kazakhstan: The whole block has merge with that and is called UNITE, moreover as a block we are committed to humanitarian aid as well as infrastructure spending, but of course infrastructure will improve the stability of the region economically and will lead to peace.

We are also working NGOs for humanitarian aid to help the people. We think that both issues are important. Added to that, humanitarian aid is only a short term solution, while infrastructure helps in the long term to deliver the actual trait, so if we want to facilitate cooperation economically socially politically and if we want to improve the Commonwealth of independent states we need to tackle the weakest link of the chain and at the moment that is the infrastructure and economy of the Ukraine.

Reporter: to what extent would you put your trust in Kosovo to insure the allocation of these funds for specifically infrastructure and humanitarian aid? Do you actually trust these donations will go to the right place? How will you ensure that?

Moldova: Yes, we do trust Kosovo, we are working with the miracle project and through their party the funds will be allocated as necessarily and be transparent so we could also hold them accountable if anything wasn’t right.

Reporter: How the community is reacting to the fact that the US has funded arming Ukraine just months ago?

Russian Federation: we find it completely unacceptable that the US would dare fund a rebel organization, but is also logical because they have a history of doing it, as in Nicaragua, and the International court of Justice found it was true but they didn’t do anything because the US only vetoes resolutions on the Security council, because they don’t care about human rights, they only care about their own rights.

Reporter: Ukraine, would you also like to answer?

Ukraine: no comments.

Reporter: whether you believe that your delegations can continue to side with Russia if Russia backs rebels for more territory?

Ukraine: Rebels are in their own things outside of Russian imputes, and solving these problems in a peaceful way would mean more hope for the world.

Reporter: A follow up question?

Ukraine: I guess

Reporter: How would you do in referendum if rebels have locked access to civilians

Ukraine: Well that was address in our resolution, there will be peacekeepers to maintain peace and to disarm rebels.

Press Release: UN Human Rights Council: United Kingdom

Correspondent: Andrea Morante, The New York Times

“We are all considering possible mergers ad in our Paper we refer to the community that we are talking about as the LGBTI+ because the International Federation of Human Rights suggested that we use that language rather than “queer” because in many parts of the world “queer” is utilized as a derogative term. In the West (the term) has been reclaimed but in other parts of the world it has been thrown around in a derogative sense. So, we changed to LGBTI+ for the purposes of our Working Paper. However, another Paper in the Questions and Answers session made it clear that they felt
uncomfortable with that terminology, and therefore more comfortable to the standard term of LGBTQ+, so we are all trying to navigate this new lance of the possible two block acronyms to decide the way in which we can best represent the inclusiveness that
we have for all people regardless of their sexuality or gender orientation, and whoever they may love or as whoever they might identify as.

We have developed a really strong Working Paper yesterday along all the countries in the Lion Paper, because we are Pride- so we are the Lion Pride- and we have developed this Working Paper and we presented it yesterday. At this point we are deciding what merge might make sense for our block, and to figure out which solutions can we really lock-on to other people to make a substantial, deep and comprehensive policy as possible that ultimately –not only does it prevent violence, but that it also reacts to it in the unfortunate situations that it occurs.

I think that one thing that is really important to remember in this conversation that our Delegation and the Delegation of The United Kingdom is very consistent on is that we are not here to talk about what are LGBTQ rights. We are here to talk about violence. And no religious freedom, no government, no culture can be tolerated to permit violence against its own citizens. We do not stand on the position that a person’s fate or a person’s region should dictate how policy dictates on the issue that we are discussing. We must stand united on the eradication of violence against our citizens – especially when our citizens have committed no crime for loving someone unapologetically. Right, and we believe that if we can’t stay united as the United Nations Human Rights Council on the rights that we all have to live safely, than what are all as a body?”

Press Release: WHO: Kenya

In 2010 the World Health Organization recognized in their resolution 64 that safe drinking water was a right for every single person. In countries like Kenya we believe that safe drinking water is substantial for people’s lives because it avoids diseases such commutable diseases that will damage a person’s quality of life.

The access to water is recognized as a human right that needs to be addressed in every nation so Kenya as a country we recognize the human rights frame work and we need to introduce it to our policy and our national programs to avoid the water scarce we live in now. In Kenya there is a water scarcity and we are affected and we are addressing it and there is a need to find solutions in this region but we have strategies.

In closer communities, outsiders do not understand how elders work or how these people look up to their leaders who are the ones that have more knowledge in this region so what we have to do is to teach them and create awareness so there are no problems on understanding on how programs work.

We have a strategy called “maji” which means water in Swahili the native language of Kenya so with this plan we want to establish wells that will be accessible for all communities so what we are doing
purification of water through a system of filters developed in the University of Nairobi with the support of UNDP. This is a measure that has been functioning in the region and all the regions of the world and we want to implement it in all the different countries that will need and are having a water scarcity water crisis.