The UN General Assembly voted on Thursday to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council as punishment for gross human rights violations in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. The resolution passed without the help of Mexico, choosing to abstain, following Mexico’s policy not to condemn Russia or enforce any sanctions.
Of the 193 members of the assembly, 93 voted in favor of the suspension while 24 voted against it and 58 abstained.
In addition to the United States and Ukraine itself, the countries of the European Union, Latin American nations such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, and other countries such as Australia, Canada, Turkey, and Norway supported the measure. The resolution was also supported by Serbia, which previously refused to impose economic sanctions against the Russian Federation.
Among the countries that voted against the resolution were Russia itself and the regimes of China, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Nicaragua, and Cuba.
The United States and its allies argued that Moscow cannot continue to participate in that Council when it is “subverting all the basic principles” of the UN with its invasion of Ukraine and committing alleged atrocities against the civilian population.
“Russia is not only committing human rights violations but is also shaking the foundations of international peace and security,” Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya said before the vote.
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The diplomat warned all members that voting against the initiative would be equivalent to “pulling the trigger” against Ukrainian civilians and would be a show of “indifference” similar to that which in 1993 allowed genocide to be committed in Rwanda.
Mexican senator, Emilio Álvarez Icaza, described Mexico’s abstention as “regrettable”, maintaining that a much stronger message should have been sent in the face of the human rights violations that Russian troops have committed in Ukrainian territory.
Although Mexico’s ambassador to the UN, Juan Ramón de la Fuente, had warned the decision to suspend Russia from the Commission as “premature”, Álvarez Icaza pointed out that President Andrés Manuel is directly responsible for this action, although it is not an economic sanction, it is an ethical and political sanction, he asserted.
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