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Russia to focus on fight against racism, xenophobia in UN Human Rights Council

November 13, 2013, 3:13 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
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UNITED NATIONS, November 12, 23:55 /ITAR-TASS/. As a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Russia will pay top priority attention to the fight against racism, xenophobia and other manifestations of intolerance, and to the protection of traditional values, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“As for top priority concerns, they include first of all counteracting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance,” he said. “Also in focus are such problems as preventing trade in humans, businesses and human rights, traditional values, the judicial system integrity, etc.”

According to Churkin, in the period of its previous membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council, Russia “won a reputation as a reliable and responsible partner in human rights activities.” “We expand our participation in international human rights treaties, we cooperate with special procedures of the Human Rights Council and with the mechanism of the Universal Periodical Review,” he noted. Apart from that, Russia actively cooperates with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Since 2006, Russia has been paying an annual voluntary contribution of two million U.S. dollars to the OHCHR.

At the voting at the United Nations General Assembly earlier on Tuesday, Russia was elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for a period from 2014 to 2017. Along other 13 countries elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council, namely Algeria, Great Britain, Vietnam, China, Cuba, Macedonia, the Maldives, Morocco, Mexico, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, France, and South Africa, Russia will work in the United Nations Human Rights Council for a period of three years, starting from January 1, 2014. Russia was a member of that council for two consecutive terms - from 2006 to 2012.

The United Nations Human Rights Council that succeeded to the Human Rights Commission in2006 includes 47 countries. Its members are elected by the majority of votes at the United Nations General Assembly by direct secret vote. Members are elected for a term of three years and cannot be re-elected immediately after two consecutive terms.

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