russia’s un human rights council pitch raise concerns
Russia has seeking a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, but its pitch comes with a controversial twist. The country’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, assured other nations that Russia would vehemently oppose any measures to hold human rights abusers accountable. According to Russia, such actions are seen as “political,” “selective,” and a manifestation of “double standards.” This stance has raised eyebrows and concerns among UN delegates.
Ambassador Nebenzia’s Justification:
At a reception for UN delegates in New York, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia made a case for Moscow’s candidacy for the prestigious human rights body. However, his speech largely sidestepped addressing Russia’s human rights record, a topic of international scrutiny. Rather than directly addressing its record, Russia’s primary message was that there are no “beacons of democracy” or “rogue states.” Ambassador Nebenzia attempted to appeal to various regions and blocs within the UN. To win favor with Islamic countries, Nebenzia spoke of the importance of “preventing insult of religious feelings” and combating Islamophobia.
Appealing to African and Asian Countries:
To gain support from African and Asian nations, Ambassador Nebenzia emphasized the need for the “full realization of the right to development.”
Russia’s Contribution to the Human Rights Council:
Nebenzia highlighted Russia’s historical engagement with the UN Human Rights Council, noting its role in elaborating and adopting the Council’s Institution Building Package. Russia has been actively reviewing the Council’s working methods and status since its inception. Russia expressed a firm commitment to safeguarding the Human Rights Council from being used as a political tool and from applying double standards.
Promoting Equal Treatment and Diversity:
Russia asserted its dedication to the equal treatment of all categories of human rights and the respect for the diversity of cultures and civilizations within the Council’s activities. The country is actively working to fulfill international commitments related to economic, social, and cultural rights.
Fostering Mutual Understanding and Respect:
Russia supports strengthening universal norms of human rights protection and emphasizes individual responsibility for actions, including preventing insults to religious feelings. The country believes these efforts are essential for promoting mutual understanding and respect and consolidating moral principles in the human rights dialogue.
Finally, Russia called for the Human Rights Council to firmly oppose various forms of intolerance, including racism, xenophobia, migrantophobia, aggressive nationalism, Afrophobia, Islamophobia, Christianophobia, anti-Semitism, religious and ethnic bigotry, neo-Nazism, and other extremist ideologies.