US to seek Russia’s suspension from UN rights body

United Nations, Apr 4 (EFE).- The United States said Monday that it will seek Russia’s suspension from the United Nations Human Rights Council, citing growing evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.

The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on Twitter that a country that is “subverting every principle we hold dear” cannot be allowed to continue to participate in that 47-member body.

“In close coordination with Ukraine and other Member States and partners at the UN, the United States is going to seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council,” she tweeted.

A two-thirds majority vote by the 193-member UN General Assembly is needed to suspend a country from that Geneva-based body established in 2006.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the UN Human Rights Council has approved two resolutions by large majorities that condemned Russia for that military action.

“My message to those 140 countries: the images out of Bucha and devastation across Ukraine require us to now match our words with action,” Thomas-Greenfield wrote on Twitter.

Ukrainian authorities have accused Russia of massacring large numbers of civilians in Bucha, a small city near Kiev, although Moscow categorically denies those allegations.

Russia was elected in October 2020 as one of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members, which are chosen by the UN General Assembly for three-year terms.

The US officially rejoined the Council in January, having returned to that body after President Joe Biden took office in early 2021.

His predecessor, Donald Trump, had withdrawn the US from the Council in June 2018 in protest over its alleged bias against Israel.

There is a precedent for removing a country from the Council. In 2011, the UN General Assembly suspended Libya’s membership due to then-leader Muammar al-Qadhafi’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.



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