Wed, 12 May 2021

4.PUTTING AMERICA FIRST AND RENEGING ON COMMITMENTS AND OBLIGATIONS

◆ For a period of time, the U.S. government repeatedly threatened to withdraw from a series of treaties and international organizations. It violated the spirit of contract and international morality by withdrawing from organizations and breaking contracts at will, and treating international organizations as amusement parks where it can come and go whenever it wants.

◆ The United States has long owed huge amounts of money in its UN dues and peacekeeping contributions. According to the statistics of the UN Secretariat, as of the beginning of April, the United States still owed 1.237 billion dollars in UN dues and 1.646 billion dollars to the UN peacekeeping budget, which respectively account for 51 percent and 61 percent of the total arrears owed by all member states.

◆ At the critical stage of the global fight against COVID-19, the United States, in order to find a "scapegoat" for its own incompetent handling of the epidemic, publicly intensified its conflict with the World Health Organization (WHO), repeatedly threatening to cut its funding, and announcing in July 2020 that it would officially withdraw from the WHO in July 2021. After taking office, the Biden administration announced that it would stop the exit process.

◆ In June 2018, the United States announced its withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, citing the council's "bias" against Israel and its inability to effectively protect human rights. In February 2021, the United States announced that it would run for the membership of the council in 2022-2024, and said that countries with poor human rights records should not become members of the council.

◆ In April 2017, the Trump administration announced a unilateral "cut-off" of funding to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on the grounds that the organization "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization." After taking office, the Biden administration restored funding to the UNFPA in a high-profile manner.

◆ The United States is a founding member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, but announced its withdrawal from the organization twice in 1984 and 2017 during the organization's more than 70 years of development.

◆ In 2020, despite objection from its allies, the United States announced that it initiated the procedure of exiting from the Open Skies Treaty from May 22.

◆ In 2019, the United States announced its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty for the sake of developing advanced weapons without constraints.

◆ In order to maintain its own quota dominance in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States forcibly blocked the IMF from completing the 15th general review of quotas before the 2019 annual meeting in accordance with the consensus of G20 leaders, and refused to transfer more quotas to emerging markets and developing countries, leading to a fruitless end of the relevant reform process.

◆ In October 2018, in response to Palestine taking the United States to the International Court of Justice over the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the United States announced its withdrawal from the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes, which is related to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

◆ In May 2018, the United States insisted on announcing its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action endorsed by the UN Security Council, despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency repeatedly confirmed Iran's fulfillment of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, and the United States had no evidence to prove that Iran had violated the agreement.

◆ In December 2017, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations announced that it would not participate in the Global Compact on Migration negotiation process, claiming that U.S. "decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone." In December 2018, the United States voted against the Global Compact on Migration at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

◆ Out of its self-interest, the United States has been blocking the selection of members for the WTO's Appellate Body since August 2017, forcing the body into paralysis in December 2019. As the body has not yet resumed normal operation, the authority and effectiveness of the multilateral trading system are seriously undermined.

◆ In June 2017, the United States stated that it would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change in order to fulfill its "solemn duty to protect America and its citizens." Two months after its formal withdrawal in November 2020, the United States announced that it rejoined the Paris Agreement.

◆ After signing the Kyoto Protocol, the United States still allowed its own carbon emissions to grow rapidly, while at the same time, it frequently asked developing countries to increase their emission reductions. The United States even made the emission reduction obligations of developing countries a prerequisite for their accession to the Kyoto Protocol. The fact fully revealed the U.S. double standards of "treating itself leniently but being strict with others" in the multilateral arena.

◆ Although the United States has signed multilateral environmental treaties such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the country has not ratified any of them so far.

The fact highlights the United States' unilateralist mentality of not wanting to be bound by international environmental treaties and evading its international responsibilities, and fully exposes the U.S. disregard for international environmental protection and its uncooperative attitude in the multilateral environmental field.

◆ In 2002, the United States announced that it withdrew its signature to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, citing disadvantages to its servicemen, diplomats and politicians.

◆ In 1982, the United States refused to sign the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in order to preserve its hegemonic interests in the oceans, and has not yet joined the convention.

5.INFAMOUS DOUBLE STANDARDS AND GROSS VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

◆ The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights puts the right to life at the top of human rights. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government shows indifference to people's lives, despises science, slacks off on disease prevention and control, and prioritizes politics and capital interests in anti-pandemic decision-making, which has greatly threatened the lives of its citizens and seriously violated their rights to life and health.

As of April 18, the United States has reported more than 31.66 million COVID-19 cases, with more than 567,000 deaths, both ranking first in the world.

◆ To cover up their failure to contain the domestic spread of COVID-19, a few American politicians, who ignored the explicit opposition of the WHO and the international community to linking the virus with specific countries and regions, wantonly spread the rumors of "Chinese virus" and "Wuhan virus" on various occasions, and openly induced and incited racial discrimination and hatred, leading to frequent vicious attacks on Asian Americans.

These U.S. politicians' behavior has seriously violated the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. According to a report by the U.S.-based organization Stop AAPI Hate, at least 3,795 incidents of racial discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been reported from March 19, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021. Surveys also showed that around 30 percent of Asian Americans have suffered racial discrimination during the pandemic.

◆ The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights noted that the increasingly unilateral use of economic sanctions almost without exception has a great impact on the enjoyment and exercise of people's rights. Therefore, to protect people's rights to life and health, no country should impose any embargo or take any similar measures at any time to restrict the provision of adequate medicines and medical equipment to another country.

During the pandemic, however, the United States imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and other countries, making it difficult for these countries to obtain anti-pandemic medical materials in time, aggravating humanitarian crises in the relevant countries.

◆ International documents -- including the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the American Convention on Human Rights, the General Comment No. 2 on the rights of migrant workers in an irregular situation and members of their families by the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers, and the General Comment No. 30 on the issue of discrimination against non-citizens by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination -- prohibit collective expulsion of migrants and confirm that immigrants have the right to emergency medical care.

Nonetheless, regardless of the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has continued to forcibly deport illegal immigrants and implemented a policy of family separation, infringing on the rights of immigrant children. According to the Los Angeles Times, since March 2020, the U.S. government has expelled at least 8,800 unaccompanied undocumented migrant children.

As a report submitted by the UN Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity in accordance with the Resolution 35/3 of the UN Human Rights Council pointed out, the U.S. government forced immigrant children to separate from their asylum-seeking parents, a move that seriously endangers migrants' human rights such as rights to life, dignity and freedom.

In the 2020 fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, 21 people died in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the highest death toll since 2005. Doctors in the ICE custody were accused of performing unnecessary gynecological operations for dozens of female immigrants, and even removing their wombs without their consent, causing serious damage to the women's physical and mental health.

◆ The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights clearly stipulates that everyone has the inherent right to life, which cannot be deprived arbitrarily. In the United States, however, there are numerous examples of excessive use of force by law enforcement officers resulting in death.

In April 2020, African American George Floyd was killed by a white police officer in violent law enforcement, which set off a large-scale protest against racial discrimination and violent law enforcement by police across the United States, highlighting the great resentment of American people, especially African Americans, who have been suffering racial discrimination and extralegal killings for a long time.

◆ Although a signatory state to the UN Convention against Torture, the United States has a persistent problem of torture in its judicial system, as seen in the notorious prisoner abuse scandal of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.

John Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, once confessed that American troops inflicted murder rather than torture on some Iraqi prisoners of war. During the Iraq war, at least 100 people died in interrogations.

◆ In 2020, Trump pardoned four employees of U.S. private military company Blackwater, who committed massacres and war crimes in Iraq. The chairman of the Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries of the UN Human Rights Council pointed out that the pardon had an impact on international humanitarian law and human rights, and was an affront to justice as well as victims and their families.

Marta Hurtado, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that "pardoning them contributes to impunity" and emboldens others to commit such crimes.

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