US-pushed resolution suspends Russia from human rights body, ‘splits UN with partial facts’
Published: Apr 08, 2022 07:56 PM
Photo taken on April 7, 2022 shows the voting result of the draft resolution, Suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council, during the UN General Assembly Special Emergency Session on Ukraine at the UN headquarters in New York. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday that allows the assembly to suspend the Russian Federation's membership in the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.Photo:VCG

An electronic board shows the results of the vote of the UN General Assembly to expel Russia from the UN Human Rights Council during a continuation of the Eleventh Emergency Special Session on Ukraine on Thursday in New York City. Photo: VCG.

After the vote pushed by the US at the UN General Assembly decided to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, some member states expressed opposition to the hasty move which forced countries to take sides before knowing the full story, and analysts said such a dangerous precedent may split the UN and undermine the rules-based international order as the US and the West are promoting a new Cold War mentality at the UN. 

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday calling for Russia to be suspended from the Human Rights Council. In the 193-member Assembly, 93 countries voted in favor, 24 against, and 58 abstained. 

Russia, China, Iran and Vietnam were among those who voted against. Those who abstained include India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Pakistan and Singapore.

The vote sets a dangerous precedent on that a resolution without solid investigation can be brought to the UN where member states are then abducted by political ideology and forced to choose sides, Zhu Ying, a professor of the National Human Rights Education and Training Base of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.

According to the UN release, the resolution was brought to the Assembly after a flurry of disturbing photos of the "Bucha incident." Ukraine accused Russian military forces of killing a large number of civilians during the occupation of the city of Bucha, located in the western suburbs of Kiev. Russia categorically denied it and presented the UN Security Council with empirical evidence of the Ukrainian side's video falsification and other fakes. 

The vote of the resolution does not represent the fact of the "Bucha incident," observers said, noting that the US and the West are coercing countries to join with them in criticizing Russia. 

For example, Russian media TASS reported that Serbia voted yes due to Western pressure and blackmail, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday on national television.

After the UN posted the tally on its Twitter account, some netizens commented that abstaining is not voting in favor of the resolution, and even under great pressure of the US and the West, the total number of those who voted against and abstained was still close to those who voted in favor. Some netizens asked why these countries had not driven the US out of the UN human rights body when it bombed civilians in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. 

Yasir Habib Khan, founder and president of the Institute of International Relations and Media Research in Pakistan, told the Global Times that the accusations against Russia on the "Bucha incident" have yet to be proved.

The expert noted that to surmount the global challenges, the world desperately needs the UN to ensure equality, fairness and respect to all. However, the UN's role to unite the world is on the ebb as it was silent on the US-led chaos in Libya, Tunisia, Iran, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. The West's hurriedly subscription to the US-pushed resolution against Russia at the UN denies rules-based international values, said the expert.  

Timofei Bordachev, program director of Moscow-based Valdai Club, noted that the vote to the resolution targeting Russia shows "war mentality" and is bad for international cooperation on sensitive issues.  

China's permanent representative to the UN, Zhang Jun explained China's vote against the resolution on Thursday that the resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council was not drafted in an open and transparent manner and the hasty move has forced countries to take sides, which will aggravate the division among UN member states and intensify conflicts between the parties concerned.

Zhang said the reports and images of civilian deaths in Bucha are disturbing. The relevant circumstances and specific causes of the incident must be verified and established, he said. "Any accusations should be based on facts. Before the full picture is clear, all sides should exercise restraint and avoid unfounded accusations.''

As a defender of the UN Charter, China firmly opposes any slaughter or any crimes against humanity and it also insists on seeking truth before making a hasty vote, said Zhu, noting that the US and Western media gave little attention or reports on China's explanation on its stance.

The US and the West are using their media to portray countries that veto the resolution as supporters of Russia, trying to divide the world into the so-called righteous and vicious ones, and to mute the countries that seek truth or have different opinions from the West, the expert said. 

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, despite China's repeated debunking, the US and some Western media have kept spreading disinformation that China would supply Russia with weapons to support its operation in Ukraine. 

Gennady Kuzmin, deputy Russian ambassador, in remarks before the vote at the UN, called on all countries to "vote against the attempt by Western countries and their allies to destroy the existing human rights architecture."

Speaking after the adoption of the resolution, Kuzmin stated that Russia had already decided to leave the Council before the end of its term. He claimed the Council was monopolized by a group of States who use it for their short-term aims.

The event will affect the UN system that was built after WWII with the purpose of global unification. The US and the West have brought the new Cold War mentality with their way of destroying diversified voices, Zhu said.

Zhu warned that by using the resolution, the US may sell more weapons to Ukraine, making the conflict to last longer as the US wishes for its own strategic purposes - this is its real goal and innocent peoples' lives are never the US' concerns, Zhu said. 

The suspension of Russia at the UN Human Rights Council may hurt its image but will not affect its operation in Ukraine, and given the current situation, there is little possibility for Russia and Ukraine to have positive outcomes from the peace talks, Yang Jin, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. 

Yang noted that the process of Ukraine becoming a neutral state is slow and the "Bucha incident" has further undermined the atmosphere for the peace talks. With the escalation of the West's sanctions on Russia and military support to Ukraine, it will become harder for the peace talks to make a breakthrough. 

On Thursday, the EU approved fresh sanctions against Russia. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a press conference on Friday that China firmly opposes politicizing human rights or using human rights issues to pressure others, or adopting double standards and making confrontations.

China calls on all parties to work together to give peace a chance, Zhao said.