Sunday, May 19, 2024

India abstains from “illegal” vote against Iran in UN commission on women

Amid the Anti-hijab row, Iran has been ousted from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on Wednesday evening. The 54-member UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a resolution to “remove with immediate effect the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term.”

 India along with 15 other nations abstained from the vote as 29 countries stood in favour of the resolution.  Eight nations voted against the move, including China, Nigeria, Oman and Russia.

Australia, Albania, Canada, Guatemala, Israel, Liberia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, and UK and Northern Ireland co-sponsored the US draft resolution which calls for the removal of Iran.

Before Wednesday’s vote, Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani accused the United States of using its “longstanding hostility toward the Iranian people” under “the guise of human rights” to remove Iran from the commission. He then cited efforts by the U.S. and its allies to topple “multiple legitimate governments,” implying that it is also trying to topple Iran’s.

Iravani said the U.S. resolution would impede the advancement of Iranian women who he said are “strong, dynamic, self-sufficient and intelligent” participants in the country’s economic, social and political life.He called the U.S. resolution “illegal” because the Commission on the Status of Women has no rules on terminating an elected member and warned that it might “create a dangerous precedent with far-reaching consequences.”

Russia opposed the resolution and before the vote its deputy ambassador, Gennady Kuzmin, accused the U.S. and its allies of deciding “to pressure their political opponents, trying to discredit them, and at the same time purge the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (of) a sovereign and influential player.”

He proposed that ECOSOC should ask for a U.N. legal opinion before the council took action on the resolution on whether a vote was in accordance with U.N. and ECOSOC procedures.

Under ECOSOC rules, such a request requires 24 hours advance notice in writing, and a vote was called on waiving the 24-hour rule. ECOSOC voted 12-26 with 11 abstentions against waiving the 24-hour rule.

This comes in the wake of the protest going on in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who lost her life in custody in disputed circumstances. 

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Iran’s state-run Nour News media outlet, which is associated with the Iranian National Security Council, swiftly rebuked the country’s expulsion in a post on Twitter, calling the move “a clear violation of the philosophy of the #UN and its charter, and worse, the Secretary General of the UN, as the guardian of the credibility of this institution, has remained silent.”

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