UN to vote on suspending Russia from Human Rights Council

AFP , Wednesday 6 Apr 2022

The UN General Assembly will vote Thursday on suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council following allegations that Russian troops deliberately murdered civilians in Bucha, Ukraine, the assembly presidency said.

 UN Security Council
Images from devastation in Ukraine are displayed during a meeting of the UN Security Council, Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at United Nations headquarters. AP


The vote is "confirmed for 10:00 am," Paulina Kubiak, a spokeswoman for the presidency, said Wednesday.

Two-thirds of the countries who cast votes in the 193-member assembly must support suspension for Russia to be temporarily removed from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

The vote comes amid international outrage over horrific scenes of civilian killings in areas of Ukraine recently retaken from Russian forces, like Bucha outside Kyiv, including people apparently executed with their hands tied behind their backs.

"The images out of Bucha and devastation across Ukraine require us to now match our words with action," US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Monday.

"We cannot let a member state that is subverting every principle we hold dear to continue to participate" in the council, she said.

The UN Human Rights Council is the world body's main forum in this domain. Founded in 2006, it is composed of 47 member states which are chosen by the General Assembly.

Libya was suspended from the council in 2011.

"Russia should not have a position of authority in that body, nor should we allow Russia to use its seat on the Council as a tool of propaganda to suggest they have a legitimate concern about human rights," the US ambassador said.

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