Russia Fails to Regain UN Human Rights Council Seat in Secret Vote

Russia was defeated in a secret vote in its bid to regain a seat in the U.N premiere human rights body gaining 83 votes from the 193 casted.

Russia was suspended from the United Nations Premiere human rights body 18 months ago for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia was competing against the nations and Albania and Bulgaria who emerged victorious in the United Nations secret ballot at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

Bulgaria got 160 votes and Albania received 123 votes giving both countries a three-year term on the Human Rights Council starting from January next year.

“UN member states sent a strong signal to Russia’s leadership that a government responsible for countless war crimes and crimes against humanity doesn’t belong there,” said Louis Charbonneau, United Nations director at Human Rights Watch.

U.N. director of the International Crisis Group, noted that this support indicates Russia is not entirely isolated within the United Nations, despite ongoing Western criticism. Nevertheless, the U.S. and Ukraine’s allies managed to secure the election of Albania and Bulgaria to two seats, ensuring a solid majority in the assembly for Kyiv’s supporters.

“I think Western diplomats may have been overstating the risk of a Russian win to keep UN members on their toes.” said Richard Gowan, the U.N. Director of the International Crisis Group.

Russia was ousted from the council United Nations Human Rights body 18 months ago in a U.S.-led diplomatic. 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) had issued a warrant against the Russian President Vladimir Putin for charges related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 19 months ago.

Four Asian countries China, Japan, Kuwait and Indonesia were candidates for four seats at the United Nations body with China getting the least votes.

Indonesia topped the ballot with 186 votes followed by Kuwait with 183 votes and Japan with 175. China was last with 154 votes.

Despite getting 154 votes China was also among the winners of Tuesday’s United Nations secret vote.

The United Nations had in September accused China of “serious human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province.

Savita Pawnday, the executive director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, noted the poor human rights records of some of the countries elected to the Human Rights Council.

France, the Netherlands, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Albania, Bulgaria, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic were elected.

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