May 28, 2022
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UN suspends Russia from human rights body, Moscow then quits

UN suspends Russia from human rights body, Moscow then quits

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations (UN) Basic Meeting on Thursday suspended Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over stories of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine, prompting Moscow to announce it was quitting the physique. 

The US-led push garnered 93 votes in favor, whereas 24 international locations voted no and 58 international locations abstained. A two-thirds majority of voting members within the 193-member Basic Meeting in New York — abstentions don’t rely — was wanted to droop Russia from the 47-member Geneva-based Human Rights Council. 

Talking after the vote, Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin described the transfer as an “illegitimate and politically motivated step” and then introduced that Russia had determined to give up the Human Rights Council altogether. 

“You do not submit your resignation after you are fired,” Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya advised reporters. 

Russia was in its second yr of a three-year time period. Underneath Thursday’s decision, the Basic Meeting may have later agreed to finish the suspension. However that can’t occur now Russia has give up the council, simply as the US did in 2018 over what it known as continual bias in opposition to Israel and an absence of reform. 

The US was final yr re-elected to the council. Suspensions are uncommon. Libya was suspended in 2011 due to violence in opposition to protesters by forces loyal to then-leader Muammar Gaddafi. 

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated the United Nations “sent a clear message that the suffering of victims and survivors will not be ignored.” 

“We ensured a persistent and egregious human rights violator will not be allowed to occupy a position of leadership on human rights at the UN,” she stated in remarks to be delivered to the Basic Meeting afterward Thursday. 

The Human Rights Council can not make legally binding selections. Its selections ship essential political messages, nonetheless, and it will possibly authorize investigations. Final month the council opened an investigation into allegations of rights violations, together with doable conflict crimes, in Ukraine. 

The decision on Thursday was the third adopted by the 193-member Basic Meeting since Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24. The 2 earlier Basic Meeting resolutions denouncing Russia have been adopted with 141 and 140 votes in favor. 

After abstaining on the earlier two Basic Meeting votes, Russia’s companion China opposed the decision on Thursday. 

“Such a hasty move at the General Assembly, which forces countries to choose sides, will aggravate the division among member states and intensify the confrontation between the parties concerned — it is like adding fuel to the fire,” China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun stated earlier than the vote. 

The Basic Meeting textual content on Thursday expresses “grave concern at the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” notably at stories of rights abuses by Russia. 

Russia says it’s finishing up a “special military operation” that goals to destroy Ukraine’s army infrastructure and denies attacking civilians. Ukraine and allies say Moscow invaded with out provocation. 

Russia had warned international locations {that a} sure vote or abstention might be considered as an “unfriendly gesture” with penalties for bilateral ties, in response to a word seen by Reuters. — Michelle Nichols/Reuters

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