Plenary Item 4. Strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions (continued)

Chair: We return to consider Item 4. We had to suspend this item on Tuesday as CND is going to take a secret ballot election in accordance to Rule 66 of ECOSOC. Vacant is one position, Vice Chair of FINGOV for the Eastern European Group. Two candidates: Representatives from Russia and Latvia. We have a request for the floor and I give the two candidates and / or delegations the floor.

Russian Federation: We’d like to call upon you to vote on the Russian candidate for the Bureau. He has extensive experience in administration of budgets. He worked on the 5th Committee of the General Assembly. He will make a substantive contribution to the work of the Bureau. His candidacy was supported by the EEG. Provisionally approved by FINGOV. Mentioned by the Chair of the CND last Friday during informals. We are not in a position to support Latvia. We know nothing about her. She’s a specialist in international law but not active in administrative and budgetary issue. Not a disaster. But if elected, she’ll probably come to grips with her new position and afterwards make some kind of contribution to administration of budgetary matters. But her candidacy was submitted last Monday. In violation of other relevant rules. The candidacy wasn’t even considered by the Eastern European Group. She didn’t even try to achieve agreement within the group. It’s quite strange because they are a member of the group and we would imagine they would have a more respectful attitude to Member States. This is all regrettable and unprofessional. Hasty steps at the last minute in violation of rules and procedures. Unprofessional indeed. Neither Latvia nor its allies care about that, however. The fact remains that putting forward Latvia’s candidate, circumventing the EEG, imperils the work of all regional groups. This is Western countries with anti-Russian strategy in all bodies regardless of their mandate. No bearing upon real politics. Creates major problems for the activities of multilateral forums. Our Western colleagues should, at the very least, minimise the negative consequences of their political line in terms of the activities of international bodies. We will calibrate our response to their actions and declarations to reduce the harm to multilateral diplomacy. Of course, we do not intend to take any share of the responsibility for the undermining of functional committees of ECOSOC. We call on our colleagues to vote for our candidate for the future of CND and based on technical expertise.

Latvia: Let us look at what are the tasks of FINGOV Bureau where Latvian candidate is competing against the Russian candidate for the post of vice-chair: it deals with governance and financial matters, the consolidated budget of UNODC, evaluation and oversight, human resources management, mainstreaming a gender perspective into the practices, policies and programmes of UNODC and progress made by UNODC in implementing its regional and global programmes. I believe that a representative of a country whose credit rating has been downgraded to C—because of the war it is waging against Ukraine would not be the best adviser on financial matters and consolidated budget of UNODC. I believe that a representative of a country that heavily miscalculated its capacity in the war against Ukraine would not be the best adviser on evaluation and oversight in UNODC. I believe that a representative of a country that is being more and more isolated because of its aggression against Ukraine would not be the best adviser on implementation of regional and global programmes. I believe that a representative of a country that detains and harasses women protesting in Russian cities against the war and that blocks all gender equality language in documents of international organizations in Vienna, even more, whose President just yesterday used words “so called gender freedoms” – I believe representative of such views would not be the best adviser on mainstreaming gender perspective into practice, policies and programmes of UNODC. I believe that a representative of a country that is not allowing humanitarian corridors to a city it is besieging letting a 6 year old child die of dehydration would not be the best adviser on human resources management. Instead, Latvia has always been serious about its international law commitments. It has never in its history attacked another state. And Latvia’s record on human rights, gender equality, anti-corruption can be checked on United Nations yearly statistics. Latvia is serious about regional and global cooperation by means of diplomacy. Therefore I kindly ask the members of the CND to support my candidature – a reliable and peaceful partner in international relations that will come to you with a pen, a paper and an open mind, and not with a warship.

Russia requests a ‘right to reply’.

Chair: Right of reply at the end of the vote. The agenda is a vote. I cannot go against the wishes of the CND to have a vote, but I have to abide by the rules.

CND Secretariat: As we explained before, the Chair did so, the eligible to cast a votes are CND 53 members. Voting happens by those present. Rule 56 on the screen. The candidate with the majority of the votes will be elected. No representative will be able to interrupt the vote except for point of order related to the voting itself. (Explains the voting rules)

Chair: Blank ballots aren’t cast. Invalid votes: candidates not members of EEG, votes with identification of voter. (Further procedural clarifications). Mexico and Thailand will be the tellers. We ask the tellers to come to the front of the podium. I remind members that according to Rule 61 of ECOSOC, no representative may interrupt the voting except for a point of order in strict relation to the voting. Distribute the ballots. Tellers confirm the ballot box is empty.

Total CND membership: 53 countries. 

Votes cast (48): Algeria, Angola, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Jamaica,  Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay

Not in the room (5): Bahrain, Bolivia, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan

CND Chair: The voting is now complete. The tellers will leave the voting room and will count the vote separately. I ask everyone to stay here until they come back with the result of the vote.

I have just been given the election results.

Number of ballots: 48

Invalid ballots: none

Abstention: 9

Russian candidate: 6 votes

Latvian candidate: 33 votes

The Latvian candidate has thus been elected.

Russia: I have to admit that the statement by the distinguished ambassador of Latvia made such a great impression on me that I asked for a right of reply. The arguments that she used made indignant. If I am aware to take the path that she has proposed I would have to say that a country in which 1 in 10 person don’t have civil rights they can’t look on civil matters, if in that country there is no glorification of Nazism there cannot hold that role, a representative that remained silent on the shelling of Donetsk cannot be appointed to this role.  I am disappointed at the fact that the ambassador of Latvia did not try to explain why she has such disrespect for the EEG. Why she completely neglects the applicable rules of procedure.

Chair: I don’t see any more request from the floor and therefore I declare this matter closed.

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