Source: UK Government
14 September 2021 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
Thank you Madam President.
On Afghanistan, the UK welcomed the Special Session Resolution, requesting the High Commissioner to report back to this Council. There is clearly widespread concern about Afghanistan’s future direction, given recent events and we recognise the clear concerns expressed by the High Commissioner yesterday. We would like to see close scrutiny of the human rights situation, in order to protect the gains made over the previous twenty years, especially concerning the rights of women, girls and members of minorities. Looking ahead, we have said that our approach to the Taliban will reflect what they do. Human rights will be a key part of that. Working with our partners we will use all the means at our disposal, including development assistance, to promote our priorities.
We are concerned about developments in Guinea, and call on all parties to protect and respect human rights. It is worrying that opposition politicians, civil society activists and journalists in Zimbabwe face arrest and violence, and that the Government has used Covid-19 restrictions as a pretext to obstruct opposition and protests.
The protection of civilians in Cameroon remains a concern. We urge the Cameroonian government to remain engaged in inclusive dialogue. There must be an end to violence and impartial investigations to hold the perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses to account.
In Vietnam, we are concerned about the harassment and arrest of journalists, bloggers, human rights educators, and by the harassment of certain ethnic minority groups. freedom of expression must be protected, including online.
We remain deeply concerned by the Nicaraguan authorities’ steps to undermine democracy and human rights. The arbitrary detention, persecution and harassment of the political opposition, independent journalists and government critics are unacceptable.
Finally in Nigeria, we continue to monitor the judicial panels of inquiry established to investigate allegations of police brutality and human rights violations following the #ENDSARS protests. Those found responsible should be held to account.