The UN will vote on Thursday to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council

UN (AP) – The UN General Assembly will vote on Thursday on whether to withdraw from Russia’s top human rights organization. The operation was initiated by the United States in response to hundreds of rallies even after Russian troops withdrew from towns near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, calling for their troops to be convicted of war crimes.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield called for Russia to be stripped of its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council following videos and footage of streets in the town of Bucha, strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians. The videos and reports from the town have aroused worldwide hostility and called for tougher sanctions against Russia, which has vehemently denied responsibility.

“We believe that members of the Russian military have committed war crimes in Ukraine and we believe that Russia must be held accountable,” Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday. “Russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council is farce.

Paulina Kubiak, a spokeswoman for the General Assembly, said on Wednesday that a special emergency session of the Ukrainian parliament would resume at 10:00 EDT (17:00 in Israel) on Thursday when the resolution “to suspend membership of Russia’s Human Rights Council” will be adopted. voted on.

Although the Human Rights Council is based in Geneva, its members are elected by the General Assembly of 193 nations for a term of three years at a time. The resolution of March 2006, which established the Human Rights Council, states that the parliament can repeal the membership rights of a country “which is a rather gross and systematic violation of human rights”.

The short-term resolution to be voted on expresses “grave concern about the current human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, in particular because of reports of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including gross and systematic and human rights violations.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield addresses the UN Security Council on 4 March 2022. (AP Photo / Richard Drew)

In order for the resolution to be passed, a two-thirds majority of MPs who vote “yes” or “no” are required. Voting does not count.

The General Assembly voted 140-5, with 38 abstaining on March 24 on a resolution blaming Russia for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and calling for an immediate ceasefire and protection for millions of civilians and homes, schools and hospitals that are important for survival. .

The referendum was almost exactly the same as before the resolution adopted by the parliament on March 2, which demanded an immediate ceasefire from Russia, the withdrawal of all its forces and the protection of all civilians. The turnout was 141: 5 and 35 abstained.

Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday that her message to the 140 members who voted in favor of the two resolutions in support of Russia’s suspension from the Human Rights Council was simple: operation.”

“We cannot allow a member state that is undermining all the principles that we care about to continue to sit on the UN Human Rights Council,” she said.

Community workers carry the body of an unidentified man in the town of Bucha, near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv on April 3, 2022. (Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

Supporters of the resolution are optimistic about its adoption, though not necessarily with the support of 140 states.

Russia has asked an unspecified number of countries to vote “no” and said that abstaining or not would be considered unfriendly and would affect bilateral relations.

In its so-called “non-paper” received by the Associated Press, Russia said the attempt to expel it from the Human Rights Council was political and supported by various countries in order to preserve its dominance and domination of the world and continue the “politics of colonial human rights policy” in international relations. .

Russia said its priority was to promote and protect human rights, including a multifaceted role in the Human Rights Council.

Russia’s ambassador to Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, called the United States’ actions “an insignificant and purely emotional feat that looks good on camera – as the United States likes it.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov is listening to the vote in support of the UN resolution in support of a ceasefire in Syria on Friday, February 26, 2016 at United Nations Headquarters. (AP / Bryan R. Smith)

“Washington is taking advantage of the Ukrainian crisis for its own benefit in an attempt to either exclude or stop Russia from international organizations,” Gatilov said in a statement issued by a spokesman for the Russian embassy.

Russia and the four permanent members of the UN Security Council, which have veto power – Britain, China, France and the United States – now all sit on the Human Rights Council, which the United States rejoined this year.

The only country to be deprived of the council was Libya in 2011, when the turmoil in North Africa led to the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi, a longtime leader, said Rolando Gomez, a spokesman for the council.

No permanent member of the Security Council has ever had his membership revoked from any UN body.

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