The UN General Assembly, composed of the organization’s 193 member states, will meet tomorrow, Thursday, in New York to vote on the request to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, a spokesman for the body confirmed today.
Ukraine, the United States, and the United Kingdom initiated this move in the General Assembly following the serious abuses of which Russian troops are accused in Ukraine, such as the massacre of civilians in Bucha and other localities.
Several other countries, including Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, support this call.
To this end, the promoters of Russia’s suspension have circulated a draft resolution stating: “It is decided to suspend the membership rights of the Human Rights Council of the Russian Federation.”
According to the applicable rules, if two-thirds of the votes are obtained, Russia would be suspended from the Human Rights Council, the most important multilateral body in this field at the global level and which has as its essential mission the defense of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Several episodes of the war in Ukraine that have been attributed to Russian forces—which, in addition to massacres, include attacks on civilian infrastructure and indiscriminate shelling of residential areas—may constitute war crimes, according to UN specialized agencies.
There is only one precedent for the suspension of a member state from the Human Rights Council: Libya, from which it withdrew in March 2011, following the violent repression of protests against the Gaddafi regime.