Tuesday 27th April 2021 – House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee, questions to the Foreign Secretary – and his answers.
I asked the Foreign Secretary what action the UK has taken to increase the number of signatories – in particular the US, China, and Russia – to the ‘Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes’? and why the UK has not supported the French proposal on regulating the veto, given that from Xinjiang to North Korea, to Tigray, the threatened use of the veto stops perpetrators of mass atrocities being brought to justice via the ICC?
Last Thursday the House of Commons followed the outgoing and incoming US Administrations, the Canadian and Dutch Parliaments and others, in declaring as a genocide. The Foreign Secretary has rightly described to the UN Human Rights Council as “the industrial scale” of atrocities against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. I asked the Foreign Secretary if it is licit to conduct business as usual with a State credibly accused of genocide? If it is his intention to accept the House of Commons Declaration of Genocide against the Uyghurs and, if not, to break this circular argument, will he re-examine proposals to create a judicial route for genocide determination so that we can meet our duties under the 1948 Convention on the Crime of Genocide?
In light of significant religious persecution around the world, I asked the Foreign Secretary why religious persecution is not featured on his list of Seven Strategic Concerns.