Bucharest, 6 April 2022 (TDI): The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has called for the suspension of Russia from the Human Rights Council.

The Ambassador proclaimed that Russia’s inclusion “hurts the council’s credibility” and is “just plain wrong.” Western countries have accused the Russian armed forces of targeting civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

To remove Russia, the council would require the support of at least two-thirds of the UN General Assembly. The UNGA has 193 members. The United Nations Human Rights Council is based in Geneva.

Russia is in the second year of a three-year term on the 47-member council. The body cannot make legally binding decisions. However, its decisions send important political messages and it can authorize investigations.

A motion for the removal of a member country can be made if a country is found to be persistently committing gross and systematic violations of human rights during its membership.

On a visit to Romania, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, “Russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council is a farce”. Furthermore, she expressed “And it is wrong, which is why we believe it is time the UN General Assembly vote to remove them.”

Since the start of the war, the US has sought to remove or ban Russian participation from many intergovernmental organizations. However, Russia has denied the accusations of atrocities in Bucha.

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, reiterated that the footage out of Bucha is “staged”. Moreover, he said, “this is again unprecedented and this will not facilitate or encourage or be helpful to what is happening between Russia and the Ukrainian peace talks”.

Western Reaction to Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The US-led Western countries have taken actions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The recent development is a part of a series of such actions. These actions primarily constitute harsh sanctions and a boycott of the Russian economy.