Russia’s voting record on country resolutions
reflected its hostility towards the Council’s engagement on any situation,
except Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, exposing its strong bias
and contributing to double standards at the Council.
Voting Record in 2016
Voting Record in 2015
Together with China, Cuba and Venezuela, Russia had one of the weakest voting records on country situations within the Council’s membership in 2014. Russia voted against all country-specific resolutions put to a vote under Items 2, 4 and 10 of the Council agenda, including on Sri Lanka, North Korea and Syria. It even dissociated itself from the consensus of the non-voted-on resolution on Eritrea. Regrettably, Russia also supported the hostile non-action motion presented by Pakistan to adjourn the vote on the Sri Lanka resolution, and it endorsed a March 2014 joint declaration put forward by Saudi Arabia that backed the government crackdown in Egypt, despite the massive rights violations it entailed.
Russia voted in favor of all resolutions focusing on the human rights situation
in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories (OPT). The contrast between Russia’s
votes on the resolutions on the OPT and its votes on all other situations
raises serious question about double standards and selectivity in its approach
to the Council.
Russia is one of seven members of the Council that failed to co-sponsor any country- specific resolutions at the Council in 2014. On a positive note, it signed the calls to convene the special sessions on the Gaza conflict and on Iraq.
In Russia’s interventions during Item 4 debates, it expressed political support to governments under scrutiny. It justified calling for votes on the Syria resolutions by saying there was lack of balance within the text, sought to qualify the mandate on Belarus as unnecessary because it did not enjoy the consent of the government concerned, and rejected the Ukraine resolution by claiming it was confrontational. In explaining its votes, Russia stated that it did not support the principle of country-specific resolutions and said that specific situations should only be discussed in the context of the Universal Periodic Review.
Russia should commit to fully implementing the Council’s mandate to address and prevent situations of violations, and base its positions on an assessment of the situation on the ground, the needs of victims, and the international obligations of the government concerned. Russia should also acknowledge that country-specific resolutions can play a key role in shedding light on abuses, give a stronger voice to victims, and expose violations with a view to ensuring accountability.
Voting record in 2014
Support for key joint statements in 2014
Russia rejected all country resolutions that were put to a vote at the Council, including all the resolutions on human rights violations in Syria, Sri Lanka, Iran and Belarus. The only exception to this pattern was Russia's engagement on Libya, where it tabled amendments that would have strengthened the text of the Libya resolution. Russia's tabling of these amendments was inconsistent with its overall engagement on country situations but nonetheless addressed serious gaps in the resolution and exposed inconsistencies among Western states that were reluctant to press Libya on its poor human rights record.
In contrast to its position on country-specific situations, Russia voted in favor of all the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, exposing its double standards.
Russia did not support any of the key joint statements made at the Council on country situations. Russia’s frequent interventions in country-specific debates generally focused on taking the side of the concerned state, questioning the Council's engagement on the situation, and advocating for an approach of "non-interference in domestic affairs".
Russia was one of the only five members of the Council that did
not co-sponsor any country-specific resolutions in 2012.