The United Nations General Assembly took a strict decision on Russia on Thursday. It suspended Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council for reports highlighting Russia’s role in violating and abusing human rights in Ukraine.
After that Moscow came with the announcement that it was planning to quit the body. The United States-led campaign received 93 yes votes, 24 no votes, and 58 abstentions.
A two-thirds majority of the 193-member General Assembly in New York, which includes abstentions, was required to suspend Russia from the 47-member Geneva-based Human Rights Council.
Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Gennady Kuzmin, termed the decision an “illegitimate and politically motivated action” after it was announced and then said that his country would withdraw from the Human Rights Council altogether.
“You do not submit your resignation after being fired,” Ukraine’s U.N. ambassador to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya, stated at a news conference.
In its third term, Russia was in the second year. On Thursday, the General Assembly could have reconsidered its previous decision to suspend the rules in question.
However, now that Russia has withdrawn from the council, just as the United States did in 2018 owing to what it termed chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform, this may not happen.
The United States has been re-elected to the council for the second time since it began in 1961. Suspensions are uncommon. Because of violence by loyalist forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, Libya was suspended in 2011.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, added, “The United Nations sent a clear message that the suffering of victims and survivors will not be tolerated.”
“We made certain that a persistent and serious human rights offender would not be permitted to hold a leadership position on human rights at the U.N.,” she promised in her speech later in the day to the General Assembly.
The Human Rights Council is not in a position to make binding judgments. Still, it communicates important political sentiments, and it may launch investigations.
The council began an inquiry into allegations of human rights abuses, including possible war crimes, in Ukraine last month.
The previous two General Assembly resolutions condemning Russia were passed with 141 and 140 votes in favor.
Russia’s ally China opposed the motion on Thursday, after abstaining from the prior two General Assembly votes.
On Thursday, the General Assembly adopted a resolution expressing “grave concern at the continuing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” particularly regarding allegations of Russian abuses.
Russia has denied launching a “special military operation” against Ukraine’s military infrastructure and claiming to have attacked civilians. Ukraine and its allies claim that Russia launched an unprovoked invasion on them.
According to a document seen by Reuters, Russia warned the world countries that accepting or abstaining from the resolution would be interpreted as an “unfriendly gesture” with ramifications for bilateral ties.