The UN Panel on Lace Rights on Monday agreed to a call from African countries to debate racism and police brutality urgently this week after riots in the US and beyond about George Floyd's death.
When the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council resumed after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Council President Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger proposed holding the debate on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. GMT).
"I can't see any objections, so it's decided," she said.
It is only the fifth time in the 14-year history of the Council that it has agreed to hold an "urgent debate", a special debate that was agreed at a regular Council meeting.
The Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the United Nations in Geneva sent Tichy-Fisslberger a letter last Friday on behalf of the 54 African countries, in which he had an urgent debate on "racially inspired human rights violations, police brutality against people of African origin and violence against peaceful protests "demanded that these injustices stop. "
This call came after Floyd's family, along with the families of other victims of police violence and over 600 NGOs, called on the council this week to take urgent action against systemic racism and impunity in the U.S. police force.
Friday's letter pointed to the case of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white officer who has since been charged with murder has had his knee on the knee for nearly nine years Neck had pressed log.
"Not an isolated case"
His death, which was recorded on video and triggered massive protests in the US and around the world, "is unfortunately not an isolated case."
"Many other cases of people of African origin have suffered the same fate because of their origin and police violence," Burkina Faso ambassador Dieudonne Desire Sougouri told the council on Monday.
While the Friday letter called for a debate on racism around the globe, the situation in the United States was particularly highlighted.
"The protests the world is experiencing are a rejection of the basic racial inequality and discrimination that characterize life in the United States for blacks and other colored people," it said.
Before the 47 members of the legal council, Sougouri insisted that "after the unanimous and general outrage about this situation, it would be inconceivable for the Human Rights Council not to address this current situation".
A number of countries were expected to address Floyd's murder and concerns about police violence and racism in the United States during the resumed 43rd session of the Council without any particular debate.
As the deadline for submitting new resolutions during this session was already in March, the extraordinary debate is the only opportunity to propose a new resolution for concrete action.
The first such urgent debate in the Council took place in 2010 when a deadly Israeli flotilla raid brought aid to Gaza. Urgent debates continued in 2013, 2014 and 2018 on the situation in war-torn Syria.
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