UN ‘Sustainability Initiative’ Includes Controversial Company

(TargetDailyNews.com) – Global politics make not just strange, but sometimes outright contradictory, bedfellows. The United Nations presents itself as a force for global good in economic trade and quality of life, but its programs and favored partners present a very different face to many observers.

Take the UN Global Compact as an example. This program bills itself as a “voluntary initiative” that works with company executives to “implement universal sustainability principles.” The Compact also claims to be concerned with curbing human rights abuses around the world.

But just a few weeks ago, the Compact added a corporate partner called Hikvision, a Chinese electronic surveillance equipment company. According to the UN website, Hikvision will be reporting on its “sustainability” progress and has also committed to following the Compact’s stated goals on labor and human rights issues.

So, what’s the problem? Hikvision is owned by the communist Chinese government and the surveillance equipment it makes is used in the tracking and detention of the persecuted Uyghur Muslims in China.

Moreover, the United States considers Hikvision a bad corporate actor. The company is on an American trade blacklist because the U.S. believes it has been complicit in the Chinese government’s genocidal actions toward the Uyghurs. The contrast between the U.S. view and how Hikvision describes itself is grimly comical. Hikvision says the fact that it joined the Global Compact demonstrates the company’s commitment to using “Tech for Good”. Naturally, Hikvision also promised to ensure it is not “complicit in human rights abuses.”

The troubling reality, however, is that Hikvision’s cameras and tracking equipment are essential to the Chinese Communist Party’s project of tracking and locking up the persecuted Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

Of course, mainstream media often presents UN initiatives in rosier terms, and this one is no exception. Yahoo News, for example, has an “article” that reads as one would expect a press release from the UN to read. Touting the Compact’s “Transformational Governance Corporate Toolkit,” the article describes the Global Compact as a nexus for companies and governments to curb labor abuses and human rights violations.

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