Russia, contesting elections to four U.N. committees, loses all

India gets elected to four bodies of the UN Economic and Social Council

April 14, 2022 04:07 pm | Updated 06:57 pm IST - United Nations:

Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting of the UN Security Council on April 5, 2022, at United Nations headquarters.

Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting of the UN Security Council on April 5, 2022, at United Nations headquarters. | Photo Credit: AP

Russia, contesting elections to four U.N. committees, lost all of them, including one to Ukraine, a verdict being seen as Moscow’s isolation on the global stage.

Elections were held in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Wednesday to fill various vacancies in subsidiary and related bodies.

Russia was contesting elections to the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations, U.N. Women Executive Board, UNICEF Executive Board and Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

“Russia competed in four elections to at U.N. committees today. It lost in all of them. The UN membership is isolating Russia and stands with Ukraine,” the United Kingdom Mission to the U.N. tweeted.

The European Union Delegation at the United Nations in New York said that results of today's ECOSOC elections show that Russia’s aggression has disqualified them from serving in key bodies of the U.N.

“We congratulate those newly elected members of the ECOSOC subsidiary bodies who commit to the values of the U.N.,” it said.

U.K. diplomat James Roscoe tweeted “Humiliation for @RussiaUN & further isolation at @UN today. They lost 4 elections to key U.N. bodies. A rejection of @mfa_russia war in Ukraine and sign of its growing pariah status. Ukrainians are paying highest price for illegal war but damage to Russia isn’t limited to its army.” In the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations, Russia lost after having got only 15 votes out of 54 ballots, 16 votes out of 54 in the U.N. Women Executive Board polls, 17 votes out of 54 in the UNICEF Executive Board, and 18 votes out of 52 ballots cast in election to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where it was defeated by Ukraine, which got 34 votes.

India was elected to four bodies of the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

“India gets elected to four at UN ECOSOC Bodies - Commission for Social Development, Committee on NGOs, Commission on Science & Technology for Development and Ambassador Preeti Saran gets re-elected to Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,” India’s Permanent Mission to the U.N. tweeted Wednesday.

For the Commission for Social Development, Austria, Bangladesh, Burundi, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, India, Peru, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine were elected by acclamation for a four-year term of office beginning at the first meeting of the commission’s 62nd session in 2023 and expiring at the close of the commission’s sixty-fifth session in 2027.

For the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, Algeria, Belize, Botswana, China, Colombia, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Hungary, Latvia, Oman, Romania, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, and Uzbekistan were elected by acclamation for a four-year term of office beginning on January 1, 2023.

For the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, Algeria, Bahrain, Cameroon, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Eritrea, India, Israel, Liberia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Zimbabwe elected by acclamation for a four-year term of office beginning on January 1, 2023, Armenia and Georgia were elected by secret ballot.

Aslan Abashidze of the Russian Federation, Ludovic Hennebel of Belgium, Joo-Young Lee of the Republic of Korea, Santiago Manuel Fiorio Vaesken of Paraguay, Karla Vanessa Lemus de Vásquez of El Salvador, Julieta Rossi of Argentina, and Preeti Saran of India were elected by acclamation for the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for a four-year term of office beginning on January 1, 2023.

However, the United Kingdom dissociated from the consensus acclamation of Russia’s Abashidze to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

He said members in this Committee should have a recognized competence in human rights, adding that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine impacts the rights of its citizens.

Similarly, the United States also dissociated from Abashidze’s election, noting that Abashidze has defended the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which it said is inconsistent with the right to self-determination of all people.

The representatives of France and Canada, also speaking for New Zealand, expressed similar reservations, stressing that members of the Board must have a high moral standing, according to a U.N. press release. In response, Russia said that elections to the subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council must be conducted in accordance with the standard rights and procedures.

Any State entitled to take part in the meetings of the Council has the right to be elected, he added, rejecting all politicised attacks against his country, the U.N. press release added.

In December 2018, Saran, a senior Indian diplomat had been elected unopposed to the Asia Pacific seat on the U.N.'s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).

Mr. Saran’s first four-year term began on January 1, 2019. She had joined the Indian Foreign Service in August 1982. She has served in Indian missions at Moscow, Dhaka, Cairo, Geneva, Toronto and Vietnam and was the Consul General of India in Toronto and the Indian Ambassador to Vietnam.

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