Russia has been suspended from the UN Human Rights Council after the 193-member General Assembly voted on Thursday to pass a US-proposed resolution that received 93 votes in favor and 58 abstentions, including India.
The resolution entitled “Suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council” was adopted with 93 votes for, 24 against and 58 abstentions.
Abstentions include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Africa South, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.
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“India abstained on the resolution regarding the suspension of the Russian Federation from the Human Rights Council adopted in the General Assembly today. We do so for both substantive and procedure,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador, TS Tirumurti, said. the explanation of vote after the vote.
“Since the start of the Ukrainian conflict, India has stood for peace, dialogue and diplomacy. We believe that no solution can be found through bloodshed and at the cost of innocent lives. If India has chosen a camp is the peace camp and it is for an immediate end to the violence, he added.
Since January this year, India has abstained on at least eight occasions in procedural votes and draft resolutions at the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council. man who deplored Russian aggression against Ukraine.
“An important and historic day. Countries around the world have voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. We have collectively sent a clear message that Russia will be held accountable,” tweeted US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that “Russia’s rights to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council have just been suspended. War criminals have no place in UN bodies aimed at protecting human rights. Grateful to all Member States who supported the relevant UNGA resolution and chose the right side of history.”
Tirumurti said India remained deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation and reiterated its call for an end to all hostilities. “When innocent human lives are at stake, diplomacy must prevail as the only viable option,” he said.
He reiterated that recent reports of killings of civilians in Bucha are deeply disturbing. “We have unequivocally condemned these killings and support the call for an independent investigation.”
The General Assembly resumed its emergency special session after a request from Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Georgia, Japan, Liberia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and the Head of Delegation of the European Union European Union, on behalf of the 27 members of the European Union.
The Human Rights Council is made up of 47 Member States, elected directly and individually by secret ballot by a majority of the members of the General Assembly.
The General Assembly, by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, may suspend the rights to membership of the Council of a member of the Council who commits gross and systematic violations of human rights. Abstentions do not count and the resolution required two-thirds yes/no votes to pass.
Tirumurti said the impact of the crisis has also been felt beyond the region with rising food and energy costs, especially for many developing countries.
“It is in our collective interest to work constructively, both inside and outside the United Nations, in the search for an early resolution of the conflict,” he said.
“India has been at the forefront of human rights protection, right from the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We strongly believe that all decisions should be taken with full rule of law, as all of our democratic politics and structures enjoin us to do. This also applies to international organizations, especially the United Nations.”
The Assembly voted on the draft resolution which decides to suspend the rights of membership of the Human Rights Council of the Russian Federation. Russia’s current membership in the Council ends in December 2023.
The only time a member state was suspended from the Geneva-based body was Libya in 2011 when, in an unprecedented move, a resolution was passed in the General Assembly expressing deep concern about the situation. of human rights in Libya following Muammar Al-Gaddafi’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.
The draft resolution takes note of the Human Rights Council resolution of 4 March 2022, in particular its grave concern over reports of gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law committed by Russia during its aggression against Ukraine.
It expresses its “serious concern” at the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crisis in Ukraine, in particular at reports of human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by Russia, including gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights.
It recognizes the strong concerns expressed in the statements of the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
Thomas-Greenfield told reporters in Bucharest, Romania this week that Washington, in close coordination with Ukraine, European countries and other partners at the UN, would seek Russia’s suspension from the Human Rights Council. of the UN man.