UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia lost elections to three United Nations bodies this week, a sign that opposition to its invasion of Ukraine over a year ago remains strong.
The votes in the 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council follow approval of six non-binding resolutions against Russia by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly. The latest — on Feb. 23, the eve of the first anniversary of the invasion — called for Moscow to end hostilities and withdraw its forces and was adopted by a vote of 141-7 with 32 abstentions.
In the ECOSOC votes, Russia was overwhelmingly defeated by Romania for a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women. It lost to Estonia to be a member of the executive board of the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF. And it was defeated by Armenia and the Czech Republic in secret ballot votes for membership on the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said after Wednesday’s votes, “This is a clear signal from ECOSOC members that no country should hold positions on critical U.N. bodies when they are in flagrant violation of the U.N. Charter.”
In the voting for members of 14 commissions, boards and expert groups that ECOSOC oversees, Russia was elected to the Commission for Social Development by acclamation – which the United States and the United Kingdom dissociated their countries from, saying Russia’s invasion violates international law and Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Russia was also elected by acclamation to the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting,