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Swedish UN Association head slams Saudi selection

Published onsdag 3 maj kl 10.19
UN association: There should not be support for countries which violate human rights.
(2:13 min)
Alexsander Gabelic, chairman of the Swedish UN Association.
Alexsander Gabelic, chairman of the Swedish UN Association.

Alexsander Gabelic, chairman of the Swedish United Nations Association, has sharply criticised the election of Saudi Arabia to the UN Womens' Rights Commission.

"I'm not happy with it. It's the wrong signal that so many member states voted ' yes' to Saudi Arabia," he told Radio Sweden.

On Tuesday Foreign Minister Margot Wallström refused to say whether Sweden was one of the 47 countries that voted in favour of Saudi Arabia, or one of the seven who abstained.

Gabelic agreed that it was "the normal practice" for UN votes on such appointments to be kept secret, but he said there was nonetheless nothing stopping countries revealing their vote, as Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel has on the Saudi selection.

"There would be no sanctions if you were doing like Belgium," he said. "That could be some starting point for other countries to act jointly. Countries like Sweden should start to think 'how can we make this more open?' There should not be support for countries which violate human rights".

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