UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly is scheduled to vote on May 10 on a country to replace Russia on the world organization’s leading human rights body following its suspension over allegations of horrific rights violations by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.
Assembly spokeswoman Paulina Kubiak said Thursday that the Czech Republic was the only candidate for the seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council. Seats on the Geneva-based council are divided among regional groups and a replacement for Russia has to come from an East European country.
After the General Assembly suspended Russia, its deputy ambassador Gennady Kuzmin told U.N. members that Russia withdrew from the Human Rights Council before the vote. Council spokesman Rolando Gomez said that by withdrawing, Russia avoided being deprived of observer status at the rights body.
Since its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia has lost its spot on multiple U.N. bodies, including the executive boards of UN Women and the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF, the Committee on Non-governmental Organizations and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Russia was also suspended this week from the World Tourism Organization.