48th Session UNHRC: Intervention by Ms. Yoana Barakova (Senior Research Analyst EFSAS)
22-09-2021, Geneva (Virtual)
Text and video of Ms. Yoana Barakova's Intervention on General Debate Item 3 (Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development) during the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Video of Ms. Yoana Barakova's Intervention on General Debate Item 3 during the 48th Session of the UNHRC
Following Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, international funding was swiftly suspended. While initially necessary and inevitable, this paralysis will ultimately impede the livelihood of ordinary Afghans and lead to an economic collapse, at a time when Taliban’s brutality is already crippling all aspects of life.
In this grim scenario, the emergence of a new powerful player on the horizon appears to be slipping under the radar.
China has been discreetly attempting to sway the new administration in Kabul, given Afghanistan’s trillions of dollars’ worth of untapped mineral resources, which makes it an ideal candidate for Beijing's debt-trap diplomacy disguised under its Belt and Road Initiative.
China’s track record as an oppressor of its own citizens and its strategy of abusing economic and political vulnerable nations worldwide by exploiting them through these so-called investments, is characterized by intimidation.
The Taliban and China are an unholy union par excellence, bereft of any respect for human rights. Beijing’s backing will not be accompanied by demands for democracy. Instead, China will use the Taliban to crush dissent in Xinjiang, where it has already put over a million Muslim Uyghurs in barbaric internment camps.
The international community needs to address this catastrophe and provide humanitarian aid generously and quickly, while ensuring that such aid is routed entirely through reliable channels.
Otherwise, the alliance between authoritarian China and terrorist Taliban will prove to be a double-edged sword for the people of Afghanistan, Xinjiang and the wider region.