UN holds an urgent debate on systemic racism, police brutality

The United Nations’ top human rights body will on Wednesday engage in an urgent debate on systemic racism and police brutality directed at black people in the United States.

The Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, acceded to a request from the 54-member Africa Group for the debate, while the bloc has circulated a hard-hitting draft resolution that would set up an international commission of inquiry into police racism and police violence in, but not limited to the US

The US is no longer a member of the council after its spectacular withdrawal from in 2018 citing chronic bias against Israel but will be permitted to participate in a debate it is the subject of.

The draft resolution seeks among others to establish a multi-year commission of inquiry into the deaths of Africans and People of African Descent in the US with the aim of bringing perpetrators to justice.

The move in Geneva follows the outpouring of grief and frustration after the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of a white former police officer and three colleagues in Minneapolis on May 25th.

This is only the 5th urgent debate in the Council following one on the Gaza flotilla raid in 2010 and three more focused on the situation in Syria