UNITED NATIONS, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Iran appears set to be ousted from a UN women’s body on Wednesday for policies contrary to women’s and girls’ rights, but several countries are expected to abstain from the vote requested by the United States , diplomats he said.
The 54-member United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will vote on a draft US resolution to “remove the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term, with immediate effect.”
The 45-member Commission on the Status of Women meets annually in March and aims to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. A US official told Reuters he had “consistently seen growing support” to remove Iran.
Iran, 17 other states and the Palestinians said in a letter to ECOSOC on Monday that a vote “will undoubtedly set an unwelcome precedent that will ultimately prevent other member states with different cultures, customs and traditions … from contributing to the activities of such commissions”.
The letter urged members to vote against the US move to avoid a “new trend toward the expulsion of sovereign and justly elected states from any given organ of the international system, if ever perceived as inconvenient and a circumstantial majority could be secured to enforce such maneuvers.”
Only five of the letter signatories are currently members of ECOSOC and are eligible to vote on Wednesday.
The Islamic Republic on Monday publicly hanged a man who state media said had been convicted of killing two members of the security forces, the second execution in less than a week of people involved in protests against Iran’s ruling theocracy .
Nationwide unrest erupted three months ago after the death while in custody of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the morality police for enforcing the Islamic Republic’s compulsory dress code laws.
The demonstrations escalated into a popular uprising of angry Iranians from all sections of society, posing one of the most significant legitimacy challenges for the Shia clerical elite since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Iran has blamed its foreign enemies and their agents for the unrest.
The Geneva-based UN Rights Council voted last month to appoint an independent probe into Iran’s deadly crackdown on protests, passing the motion to applause from activists. Tehran accused Western states of using the advice to target Iran in a “scary and shameful” move.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
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