New Zealand Parliament Must Attend To Our Gonocide Convention Responsibilities

Published: Wed 5 May 2021 06:36 AM
The New Zealand Labour Party has prevented Parliament from debating whether a genocide is taking place in East Turkestan/Xinjiang province of China.
"Potential export earnings are plainly more important to the Labour Party than human life," says Sam Vincent, spokesperson for Uyghur Solidarity Aotearoa NZ.
Parliament was due this week to discuss a motion brought by ACT Party deputy leader Brooke van Velden, to declare the atrocities being perpetrated against the Uyghur people, as a genocide. Labour only agreed to allow the discussion if the term genocide was dropped.
"New Zealand as a country is a signatory to the United Nations Genocide Convention, through which we have a commitment to the international community 'to prevent and to punish' genocide."
"The move by the Labour government seems an attempt to abdicate itself of responsibility to human rights and international law," says Vincent. "This is a disgrace."
It is understood that the revised motion asks MPs to confirm whether "possible human rights abuses" are occurring in East Turkestan.
"The watered-down parliamentary motion is weaker than the government's own language on the 'severe human rights abuses' taking place in East Turkestan," says Vincent. "This is a farce."
"The Green party backed the motion to discuss whether a genocide is occurring. Labour should have done the same."
"We maintain, through our petition launched recently, the request that Parliament vote on and declare Genocide. It is the global human rights responsibility of New Zealand's elected representatives. We believe that New Zealand and the New Zealand government will have to make adjustments to trade, especially where it overlaps with contributing to Uyghur oppression, forced labour, and unethical production."
"There is significant evidence, which is publicly available, strongly indicating that what is occurring is genocide according to international law. An independent report by a US-based think tank concluded in March that a genocide is occurring."
"Labour's refusal to allow this debate in Parliament is callous. It shows that our government will prioritise our trading relationship with China at literally any cost."
"The Labour MPs who have sunk this debate should be ashamed of themselves. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."

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