United Nations, Oct 10 (EFE).- Russia was left out of the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday, where it had hoped to return after being expelled in 2022 for invading Ukraine.
The country was competing with Albania and Bulgaria for one of the two seats reserved for the Eastern European regional grouping on the Council.
Other controversial candidates such as China,Cuba and Burundi, as well as unopposed countries such as France, the Netherlands, Ivory Coast and Japan, managed to win places after a vote at the UN General Assembly headquarters in New York.
Moscow received only 83 of the 97 votes needed in the chamber to win the seat. China received 154 and Cuba 146.
The vote was secret, so it is not known which countries voted in favor of which candidates.
Aside from Russia, the only other country left out of the Human Rights Council was Peru. The South American country received 108 votes. This was more than the 97 needed, but less than the other candidates for the three seats available for Latin American and Caribbean: Cuba, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.
The final list of countries that won seats on the Human Rights Council for the next three years was Albania, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, China, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Malawi, and the Netherlands.
Human Rights Watch had called last week for UN representatives to deny seats in the Human Rights Council to Russia, China, Cuba and Burundi saying that delegates should “take all four countries’ abysmal human rights records into consideration when casting their votes.”
“Every day Russia and China remind us by committing abuses on a massive scale that they should not be members of the UN Human Rights Council,” said Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch.
At a press conference after the vote, UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Farhan Haq argued that countries joining the Human Rights Council should undergo an assessment of their human rights record.
“We believe that no country has a perfect human rights record, but they need to be willing to undergo this sort of evaluation that can improve the human rights situations in their respective countries,” Haq said.
Asked in particular about the case of China, the spokesman said that “all of the countries that are elected onto the Human Rights Council by Member States have therefore earned their right to be there.” EFE