The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.
The result of the vote was 93 for, 24 against and 58 abstentions.
A draft resolution states that the General Assembly may “suspend the rights to membership of the Human Rights Council of a member of the Council who commits gross and systematic violations of human rights”.
The draft resolution adds that the Council is “seriously concerned” by reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” and “violations of international humanitarian law” committed by the Russian Federation during his invasion of Ukraine.
The General Assembly had to vote two-thirds in favor to remove Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. The measure suspends Russia’s membership in the Council and would launch a review of the matter if the UN deems it appropriate.
The US ambassador to the United Nations argued for Russia’s suspension from the Human Rights Council before the UN Security Council on Tuesday, which she and other member states of the UN lobbied.
“Russia should not occupy a position of authority in a body whose purpose – whose very purpose – is to promote respect for human rights. Not only is this the height of hypocrisy, but it is dangerous,” said Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
“Every day we see more and more how little Russia respects human rights,” she said.
Ultimately, she said, “Russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council damages the credibility of the Council. It undermines the whole UN. And that’s just plain wrong.”
Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya, ahead of Thursday’s vote, called on all UN member states to support the resolution suspending Russia from the council.
“Now the world has come to a crucial turning point. We find that our liner is crossing a treacherous fog towards deadly icebergs. It might seem like we should have called it the Titanic instead of the Human Rights Council. … We must act today to stop the council from sinking,” Kyslytsya said.
The Ukrainian ambassador said Russia’s actions in Ukraine “would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity”. While he noted that a vote to suspend a country from the Human Rights Council is “a rare and extraordinary action”, he said that “Russia’s actions are inadmissible”.
In response, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Gennady Kuzmin, called on member states to reject the resolution, saying it would set “a dangerous precedent”.
“Today is neither the time nor the place for the theater, or this kind of extremely theatrical performances like the one presented by Ukraine. In fact, the draft resolution we are considering today has not nothing to do with the actual human rights situation on the ground,” Kuzmin said.
The Russian representative said the vote on Russia’s suspension from the Human Rights Council “is an attempt by the United States to maintain its dominant position and total control to continue its attempt at human rights colonialism. man in international relations”.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.