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Ukraine: UNGA will vote to suspend Russia from HRC, Italy among co-sponsors

NEW YORK, APRIL 6 – The United Nations General Assembly will vote on Thursday morning on a draft resolution calling for the suspension of Russia from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. If a vote takes place, it will require a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. At issue is Russia’s current membership on the Council, which ends in December 2023.

The draft was co-sponsored by Ukraine, Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recalling the strong expressions of concern by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the document expresses “grave concern for the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Ukraine, in particular after reports of violations and abuses of international humanitarian law by Russia.”

The legal base of the text is resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, in particular paragraph 8, which states that the General Assembly may suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of a member of the Council that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights. The only time a Member State was suspended from the Human Rights Council was Libya in 2011.

The resolution is the third to be voted by the General Assembly since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The first text (which received 141 votes in favor) “deplored” the aggression; the second, which focused on the humanitarian situation, gathered 140 votes in support. It will probably be difficult to obtain the same level of support this time. Previously, four countries joined Russia in voting “no” – Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Eritrea – while respectively 35 and 38, including in both cases China, abstained. Russia, meanwhile, sponsored an informal Security Council meeting this morning to once again discuss the issue of alleged biological laboratories in Ukraine. US and Britain did not show up. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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