Iran was defeated today in its bid for a seat on the board of a new United Nations body to promote women’s rights after what an Iranian envoy called a “politically motivated” campaign by the U.S.
The UN’s 54-member Economic and Social Council elected 41 members to the board of the agency, to be known as UN Women, which officially begins its work Jan. 1. The UN General Assembly voted in July to create the agency by merging four existing bodies.
“These policies by the U.S. to put pressure on others to not vote for Iran is very sad for the UN,” Eshagh Al Habib, Iran’s deputy ambassador to the UN, said in an interview. “It is a very politically motivated position. It is not constructive.” Al Habib said Iran was “progressing very fast in the field” of women’s rights.
The U.S. and rights groups including London-based Amnesty International and New York-based Human Rights Watch opposed Iran’s candidacy for one of the 10 board seats designated for Asian nations. There were only 10 candidates, which would have virtually guaranteed Iran’s election, until East Timor sought a seat this week.
East Timor, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Pakistan were elected to the Asian board seats.
Good news. Although some of those elected countries are not beacons of the protection of Human Rights either… 😥