Thank you, Madam President.
We share your concerns about the human rights implications of COVID-19 and reiterate that while some exceptional measures remain necessary to tackle the pandemic, these must not be used as a cover for repression.
Let me address four specific country situations. In the Tigray region of Ethiopia we are appalled by the targeting of civilians, extra-judicial killings, widespread sexual violence, and the conduct of hostilities which have directly contributed to famine conditions.
We condemn the coup in Mali. It is vital that democratic, constitutional rule is restored within the agreed timeframe and that the conditions set out by ECOWAS are fulfilled.
Recent actions by the Russian authorities mark a further deterioration in political freedoms and a mounting repression of civil society. And in Belarus we unequivocally condemn Lukashenko’s brutal campaign of repression against the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Belarusian people.
Finally, High Commissioner, we have repeatedly expressed our serious concerns about Xinjiang and hope you will keep the Council updated on whether you or your Office have been granted unfettered access to the region. We also urge you to monitor closely Beijing’s systematic undermining of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.
We will raise our strong concerns about Myanmar in the separate dialogue.