Surprise: Russia loses seat on UN Human Rights Council by 2 votes

October 29, 2016

Russia was defeated in its bid to be re-elected as a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council. But only just: Russia lost to Croatia by just two votes with Hungary claiming the Eastern Europe region’s other remaining seat. Many human rights groups had campaigned against the membership of Russia, China and others such as Saudi Arabia, but the problem is that the UN General Assembly only has a choice when the regional allotment has more candidates than seats. Saudi Arabia was re-elected as one of the four Asia-Pacific region countries to run for that region’s four allocated slots. Human Rights Watch’s UN director, Louis Charbonneau said that the vote “also shows how important it is to have competitive slates in UN elections. Countries should have a chance to reject those whose candidacies are so severely compromised, as they did today.

[Moscow’s refusal to accept Security Council resolutions re the end of the war in Syria seemed to be a factor in Russia’s failure to gain support for the council seat from others in the UN; rather than its treatment of human rights defenders back home. https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/russia-defenders-attack-closing-office-un-joint-mobile-group-chechnya/]
It is rare for one of the five permanent UN Security Council member nations to lose an election to the human rights body, but it did happen to the United States on 2001.

Source: Russia loses seat on UN Human Rights Council by 2 votes – CNNPolitics.com

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