Russia prepares draft on relocating UN First Committee from US to Europe

Overview of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland (File Photo). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

UN, Oct 17, 2019, TASS. In the course of consultations with other countries, Russia prepared a draft written proposal to the UN General Assembly to move the First Committee, dealing with disarmament issues, from New York to Geneva or Vienna, a senior Russian diplomat told TASS on Wednesday.

“This project has been prepared, we have even conducted informal consultations,” said Russia’s deputy UN envoy Andrey Belousov, commenting on the results of Tuesday’s session of the UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country. “The delegations who were interested in learning our stance, came to those consultations.”

At the same time, the draft has not yet been submitted to the committee, with the deadline expiring on Thursday.

“The Russian delegation acts on the basis of concrete instructions. Those instructions envisage the submission of this document,” Belousov said.

“So far, we have received no instructions to hold back this document,” he continued. “We will act in line with the instructions that we receive.”

The United States did not issue visas on time to a total of 18 Russian delegates to events in the framework of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. Thirteen Russian delegates, who were expected to attend the UNGA high-level week, were not issued visas. Later, most Russian delegates to the session of the UN General Assembly First Committee on disarmament issues faced visa problems.

The issue was raised during a session of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country. Russia’s deputy UN envoy, Gennady Kuzmin, said the global organization’s envoy to the meeting supported Russia’s opinion that the US had violated its commitments of a host nation. In his words, the matter can be resolved in an arbitration process between the UN and Washington.

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