Armored vehicles from the UN peacekeepers of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, also known as UNDOF wait to cross from the Israeli controlled Golan Heights to Syria, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. AP/Ariel Schalit, file

Duterte: Investigate all human rights violations by other countries
Christina Mendez (philstar.com) - November 10, 2017 - 3:02am
DA NANG, Vietnam — Faced with strong criticism of the administration's violent campaign against drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte has floated the idea of calling for a global summit on human rights violations by other countries.
 
"Let us investigate all violations of human rights committed by all governments. I said, just because it happened 40 years ago, it happened 100 years ago. When it was wrong then, it is definitely still wrong now," he said.
 
Duterte said the human rights summit should cover all aspects in all countries, not just those allegedly committed under his administration.
 
"Not zero in on me. Why just me? There are so many violations of human rights, including by the United States, including the continuous bombing in the Middle East killing civilians. Even of children... of their schools," he said.
 
 
Rather than focus in the Philippines, Duterte wants every nation accountable for their respective human rights violations during his proposed summit.
 
"And those who are responsible for it in the countries that did the bombings there like America, then you have recently, France and Russia," Duterte said.
 
International organizations like the United Nations and the European Union are by no means focusing only on alleged human rights violations in the Philippines. The UN has, for example, been critical of airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria by Western nations.
 
"The UN condemns attacks directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure. The humanitarian community reminds all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and to spare no effort to prevent civilian casualties," a joint statement issued by Ali Al-Za'tari, the humanitarian coordinator for Syria, and Ramesh Rajasingham, the acting regional humanitarian coordinator, said in August.
 
 
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has also been monitoring air strikes in Afghanistan, including a recent strike this month.
 
"Credible reports that at least 10 civilians killed in Kunduz Afghanistan air strike 4 November," it said despite denials by the US and by the local government.
 
Human rights watchdogs also operate across the world, not just in the Philippines.
 
Duterte said in the same media briefing that he would tell US President Donald Trump to set aside the issue of human rights during their slated bilateral meeting in Manila.
 
Duterte reiterated that he will ask Trump to “lay off” the drugs issue if and when they get to talk, initially at welcoming ceremonies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Vietnam.

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