International News

Russia Seeks Re-Election To UN Human Rights Council

Oli Harris

Russia is seeking a new term on the United Nations Human Rights Council after being suspended in April 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine.

On October 10th, a vote will take place among all one-hundred-and-ninety-three members of the general assembly. Russia will compete against Bulgaria and Albania for two available seats on the Eastern and Central European group.

If successful, Russia will have a seat on the council for the 2024-2026 term. In a report from UN Watch however, the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has advised members to ‘refrain from voting in favour of Russia.’

The vote […] will be the latest litmus test of global support for Russia

The report ranks Russia among five countries it considers unqualified to be on the council. It goes on to cite the country’s human rights abuses both in Ukraine and Russia, as well as the outstanding International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for Putin’s arrest.

Diplomatic correspondents to the UN have reported that Russia is lobbying for support by distributing a position paper among member states. CNN has quoted the paper as stating Russia will ‘firmly promote principles of cooperation and strengthening of constructive mutually respectful dialogue’.

The vote next Tuesday will be the latest litmus test of global support for Russia, following a decrease in Russian condemnation among developing nations, and Slovakia’s recent election of a pro-Russian government.

It will see Ukraine finish a term on the Eastern European Slate

Russia’s original term was intended to run from 2021-2023 but was cut short in 2022 after a vote of ninety-three in favour of suspending its membership. According to the UN Watch report, Russia will be seeking ninety-seven votes to be re-elected.

The potential re-election of Russia is symptomatic of larger problems within the UNHRC, such as closed slates, which UN Watch suggests are ‘a product of backroom deals fixing an equal number of candidates and available seats.’

The vote will also be notable as it will see Ukraine finish a term on the Eastern European Slate, according to the UN Watch report.

Oli Harris

Featured image courtesy of Markus Spiske via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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