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New Report Details China’s Influence In the UN Economic And Social Affairs System

August 11th, 2021 15:26

The Inter­na­tion­al Ser­vice for Human Rights (ISHR), a Gene­va-based human rights NGO, has pub­lished a report detail­ing China’s influ­ence in the UN eco­nom­ic and social affairs sys­tem, high­light­ing poten­tial risks for civ­il soci­ety par­tic­i­pa­tion and the pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion of human rights. Accord­ing to the ISHR’s press release:

July 14, 2021 A new­ly-released report, Chi­na and the UN Eco­nom­ic and Social Coun­cil, con­sol­i­dates, for the first time, research by ISHR, oth­er civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions and tra­di­tion­al media. It pro­vides an overview of the way in which Chi­na has extend­ed its rep­re­sen­ta­tion through­out the UN Eco­nom­ic and Social Coun­cil (ECOSOC) and its sub­sidiary bod­ies and process­es, enabling the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment to sig­nif­i­cant­ly influ­ence the UN’s devel­op­ment pri­or­i­ties and coop­er­a­tion with civ­il society. […]

Chi­nese gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives, serv­ing in their offi­cial or nom­i­nal­ly-per­son­al capac­i­ties, and gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tions them­selves have been appoint­ed or are active across ECOSOC bod­ies and agen­cies at the high­est lev­els, the brief­ing shows. The near-uni­ver­sal cov­er­age ensures that stan­dard-set­ting and grant-mak­ing with­in these UN bod­ies are high­ly aligned with Chi­nese flag­ship issues, such as the right to devel­op­ment, ‘counter-ter­ror­ism’ and above all, the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI).

Read the full report here.

The report notes that Chi­na has more senior lead­er­ship rep­re­sen­ta­tion than any oth­er state on the Unit­ed  Nations’  Eco­nom­ic  and  Social  Coun­cil  (ECOSOC) and uses its influ­ence to pro­mote the Belt and Road agen­da through ECOSOC agen­cies. Accord­ing to the report, Chi­na also seeks to acts as a gate­keep­er to UN access for NGOs while at the same time facil­i­tat­ing access for a grow­ing num­ber of orga­ni­za­tions aligned with Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and par­ty views. Gov­ern­ment-orga­nized NGOs, or ‘GON­GOs,’ rep­re­sent an esti­mat­ed half – at least – of all Chi­na-based orga­ni­za­tions who have a stand­ing ‘stamp of approval’ to par­tic­i­pate in UN meetings.

For more GIOR cov­er­age of China’s influ­ence oper­a­tions, go here.