This past Monday, Lina Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, issued an announcement that the United States would be making moves toward Russia’s removal from the United Nations Human Rights Council in response to Putin’s insane full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“I am returning to New York to do two things. One: I will take this to the Security Council tomorrow morning and address Russia’s actions directly,” stated Thomas Greenfield, as reported by a spokesperson. “Two: In close coordination with Ukraine, European countries and other partners at the UN, we are going to seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council.”
“Russia’s participation on the Human Rights Council is a farce. It hurts the credibility of the Council and the UN writ large. And it is wrong, which is why we believe it is time the UN General Assembly vote to suspend them,” continued Thomas-Greenfield.
To make the suspension of Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council a reality, roughly two-thirds of the currently sitting 193 members would need to issue a vote in favor of it happening. This past month, a total of 141 countries tendered a vote in favor of a resolution that issued a demand that Putin’s Russian Federation immediately “cease its use of force against Ukraine and withdraw its military forces.”
“At every step of the way, Russia has betrayed the United Nations. Russia’s actions go against everything this body stands for,” stated the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield at that time.
“This is an extraordinary moment,” Thomas-Greenfield went on. “Now, at more than any other point in recent history, the United Nations is being challenged.”
“Vote yes if you believe UN member states – including your own – have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. Vote yes if you believe Russia should be held to account for its actions,” she went on.
Just a meager five countries voted against the resolution (Eritrea, Russia, Belarus, North Korea, and Syria), while a total of 34 chose to abstain from voting entirely (notably China, India, and Pakistan).
“The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe,” stated the organization. “It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.”
“With membership on the Council comes a responsibility to uphold high human rights standards,” highlighted the council.
Along with Russia, there seems to be a litany of seemingly ironic members of the United Nations Human Rights Council such as China, Cuba, India, Kazakhstan, Libya, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.