African countries on Friday called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to organize an urgent debate on racism and police violence, in connection with global mobilization following George Floyd’s death in the United States.
The African group on Friday, June 12, asked the organization of a rapid debate on racism and police violence at the UN Human Rights Council.
In a letter written on behalf of the 54 countries in the group which he coordinates on human rights issues, the Burkina Faso ambassador to the UN in Geneva asked Dieudonné Désiré Sougouri, the UN agency to organize an “urgent debate on current racially-inspired violations” of human rights, systemic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful demonstrations. “
“The tragic events of May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, USA, which resulted in the death of George Floyd, sparked worldwide protests over the injustice and brutality that people of African descent encounter daily in many regions of the world,” the ambassador wrote.
“George Floyd’s death is unfortunately not an isolated incident,” he added, adding that he spoke on behalf of the representatives and ambassadors of the African group.
Approval of at least one country required for debate
The letter, addressed to the President of the Human Rights Council, Austrian Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, calls for this debate to take place next week, at the resumption of the Council’s 43rd session, suspended in March due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
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The call comes after the family of George Floyd, families with other victims of police violence and more than 600 NGOs urged the Human Rights Council to quickly address the problem of racism and impunity favoring police in the United States.
In order for the Council to process such a request, the approval of at least one country is required.
The request now comes from a large number of countries, “the chances” that such a debate could take place “increase,” a council spokesman told AFP.