Olivia Flasch
Olivia Flasch

Islamic State becomes newest member of UN Human Rights Council

New York, 18 December 2036

Applause filled the room as the United Nations General Assembly elected the Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or “ISIL”) as the newest member of the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday, with 163 votes to 31.

“We are very excited to be part of this important cause,” said President Al-Baghdadi, expressing his gratitude to the international community for taking steps to promote recognition of the Islamic State as the independent republic it has become.

It has been a rocky ride for Al-Baghdadi and his government, who have sought independence and recognition ever since the creation of the Islamic State in early 2013. Three years ago, when the state’s flag was finally erected in front of the UN Headquarters in New York City, it became clear that the fight had not been in vain.

But not everyone was pleased at the election results of the General Assembly. Many prominent human rights organisations have taken a firm stance against the inclusion of the Islamic State in the Human Rights Council. In response, official representatives of the Islamic State have condemned the “political plot” against it, stating that efforts to exclude the state from the Human Rights Council have a “discriminatory basis” and “will ultimately fail”. Indeed, while several countries consider that the Islamic State committed genocide against the Yazidi people between 2013 and 2020, the Islamic State denies this accusation, arguing instead that it was a “mere replacement of the Yazidis, for security reasons”.

Amongst the states voting against the election of the Islamic State into the Human Rights Council were Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Cuba, Venezuela and The Greater Russian Federation of Ukraine and Georgia.

The UN Representative to Saudi Arabia held a speech following the election, arguing that the Islamic State “has only granted refuge to 12 refugees over the past three years while the migrant crisis in the Former Syrian Arab Republic is taking an economic toll on the rest of us” and that the state “has yet to amend its Constitution from 2013, which still permits ownership of slaves, despite the fact that slavery has been internationally outlawed for more than 100 years.”

Burundi expressed outrage at the fact that the Islamic State has “yet to be made accountable for its genocide against the Yazidi people”, while Cuba and Venezuela both made reference to “the lack of democracy” in the Islamic State, maintaining that the international community “has allowed dictators to thrive in the Middle East”.

The President of the Greater Russian Federation stated that the Islamic State should not be given a seat in the Human Rights Council as a result of its “unlawful occupation of Syria and Iraq”, and argued that the election results constitute a threat to state sovereignty.

US President Tronald Dump who abstained from the vote on Thursday, said that while he was “abhorred at the vile remarks about women expressed by official representatives of the Islamic State government”, he believes that as the only remaining country with oil reserves in the world, the Islamic State is in a position of great power, which needs to be respected.

President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador of the Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea (DPRK) to the UN, offered hopeful remarks, however:

“I am pleased with today’s results. The Islamic State’s participation in the Human Rights Council will serve to raise awareness for human rights violations all around the world.”

The President of the 47-member Council has promised that the work of the Council will continue tomorrow, as usual.

As the applause began to die down in the General Assembly, Al-Baghdadi took the stand for his concluding remarks. “This is a day of celebration. But we mustn’t forget that there are still horrible human rights abuses happening in the world. First on the agenda tomorrow is addressing Israel’s continuing abuse of the rights of the Palestinian people”.

(This is a satirical essay. Obviously.)

About the Author
Olivia Flasch was born in Sweden to Polish-Ukrainian Jewish parents. After high school, she spent a few months volunteering in Israel. She then completed her Bachelor's Degree in International Law (LL.B) in The Hague, The Netherlands, and her Master's Degree in Law (MJur) at the University of Oxford. She currently lives in London.
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