Russia voted out of UN rights body

New York: Has Russia paid a price for its policies in Syria? Observers think so when the Kremlin was voted out of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday. Although the margin of loss was narrow, the fact remains that Moscow is out of the rights body. It hardly matters whether Russia is in or out of the UN organ when almost every power is accused of human rights violations. But a loss of face for President Vladimir Putin does matter to that country, particularly at a time when Russia is trying to bolster its presence in West Asia.

When the vote to elect 14 members to the 47-nation HRC took place in the 193-member General Assembly, the sitting member Russia which is seeking re-election, it got 112 votes while Croatia polled 114 and Hungary 144. Through secret ballot, the General Assembly members had elected 14 nations to the Geneva-based HRC. Brazil, China, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, UK and the US were elected for a three-year term beginning January 1, next year. India is already a member of the rights body and its term will expire next year.

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