Twenty-four countries opposed the suspension decision, the second in the history of the United Nations after a resolution on Libya in 2011, while 58 countries abstained from voting. However, the abstaining votes were not taken into consideration within the required two-thirds majority, which is limited to only the supportive and opposing votes.
And the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, confirmed, on Monday, that her country would seek to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, “in response to the images received from the Ukrainian city of Bucha.”
“Russia cannot be allowed to use its seat on the council as a propaganda tool that allows it to signal that it has legitimate human rights concerns,” she added.
And she continued, addressing the 140 countries that “voted to condemn” the Russian military operation in Ukraine: “Photos of Bucha The devastation across Ukraine forces us to turn words into action.”
For its part, Russia has warned UN member states not to approve or even abstain from voting on the attempt United State To suspend Moscow’s membership in Human Rights Council It would be considered an “unfriendly gesture” that would have consequences for bilateral relations, according to a memo seen by Reuters.
Russia’s mission urged United nations States to “speak out against the anti-Russian resolution.” It was not immediately clear how many countries had received the memo.
“It is worth noting that not only support for such an initiative, but also a neutral stance in voting (abstain or not participate) would be considered an unfriendly gesture,” the note read.
The memorandum indicated that “in addition, the position of each country will be taken into account in the development of bilateral relations and in working on issues important to them in the framework of the work of the United Nations.”
Russia’s mission to the United Nations declined to comment on the memo because it was not public. Russia is in the second year of a three-year term in the 47-nation council.
In turn, the United Nations Secretariat had earlier expressed its reservations about such a suspension, fearing that it would open the way for random requests from any country to request the suspension of any country’s membership in any body in the United Nations.
Both Ukraine and Russia are currently members of the Human Rights Council. Russia’s membership in it expires in 2023.
It is noteworthy that in the history of the United Nations, Libya, during the era of Muammar Gaddafi, was suspended in 2011 in the Human Rights Council, through a vote of acclamation in the United Nations General Assembly.
Contrary to the case of Russia, Libya was not a permanent member of the Security Council, nor was Tripoli a non-permanent member.
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