The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not answer that questionwhy the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to the United Nations (UN) abstained from voting for the resolution condemning the violation of human rights in Iran. Associations for the protection of women’s rights believe that such a vote sends a devastating message to all women and girls in BiH.
With its abstention, BiH was the only European country that voted that way. Only Russia and Belarus were against it, and the representative of Serbia did not vote at the session on November 16th.
Why did BiH abstain?
BiH’s ambassador to the UN, Sven Alkalaj, explained his abstention by ”an order from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.
”The Permanent Mission of BiH to the UN, in accordance with the established procedure for obtaining voting instructions at UN sessions, acted in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH when voting on the aforementioned resolution, as it does in all other cases,” it is stated in the announcement.
What do the associations for the protection of women’s rights say?
BiH associations for the protection of women’s rights believe that the BiH vote sends a devastating message to all women and girls in BiH.
The Sarajevo Foundation ”CURE” says that this attitude of BiH is hypocritical.
The activist of this Foundation, Selma Hadzihalilovic, recalled that BiH ”signed a number of international conventions that directly concern women’s rights, human rights, and dignity”, but that they are not harmonized with domestic legislation.
”What kind of message are you sending? Not only did you access those documents, but then you didn’t include those same documents in your legislation, you don’t offer your female citizens the protection that these documents provide, but also in the international arena, you don’t stand behind those signatures,”Hadzihalilovic pointed out.
Aleksandra Petric, program director of the ”United Women” Foundation, believes that this vote is a message to women ”that issues of violence against women and girls are not a priority and important.”
”These are issues in which some other political views dominate, as opposed to the absolute protection of the basic human rights of women and girls. This is the essence of such a response from the state,” Petric said, Radio Slobodna Evropa reports.