Brazil Opposes UN Investigation into Police Violence against Blacks in The US

Human Rights Council investigation should not focus on just one country, argues ambassador

Brazil opposed on Wednesday (17) the creation of a UN Human Rights Council (HRC) commission to investigate cases of police violence against blacks that occurred in the United States.

"The problem of racism is not unique to any particular region. It is a scourge deeply rooted in many parts of the world, affecting a large part of humanity," said Maria Nazareth Farani Azevêdo, representative of Brazil's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva.

A TV screen displays George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd speaking via video message during an urgent debate on "systemic racism" in the United States and beyond at the Human Rights Council on June 17, 2020 in Geneva. - African countries are pushing for Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to investigate racism and police civil liberties violations against people of African descent in the United States. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / POOL / AFP) - AFP

According to activists and diplomats, US and Australian officials pressured African countries to adopt a softer language in the draft text on the commission. The latest version, which the Reuters agency had access to, does not cite the United States.

The text proposes that the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, "establish the facts and circumstances related to systemic racism" and the alleged use of excessive force, and report its findings in 12 months. But it does not include the creation of a commission of inquiry dedicated exclusively to the topic.

The United States left the Council in June 2018, accusing the body of being hypocritical and having an anti-Israel bias.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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