India on Thursday abstained on the resolution seeking to suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Amid reports of gross human rights violation by Russian troops in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly on Thursday voted on a resolution regards to suspension of Russia from the UNHRC, with 93 countries voting in favour, 24 against and 58 abstaining thereby Russia getting suspended.
India had earlier in the strongest of words condemned the killing of civilians in Ukraine’s Bucha. Adddressing the Security Council briefing the Ambassador also called for an independent probe into the alleged killing of civilians in the northern Ukrainian town.
Addressing the council, explaining the abstension, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Tirumurti said, “India has abstained on the resolution with regard to suspension of the Russian Federation from the Human Rights Council adopted in the General Assembly today. We do so for reasons of both substance and process.” He further reiterated India’s call for immediate cessation of violence and said that dialogue and diplomacy are the only way out.
Asserting India’s stand on the conflict, Ambassador Tirumurti said, If India has chosen any side, it is the side of peace and it is for an immediate end to violence.
“Since the inception of the Ukrainian conflict, India has stood for peace, dialogue and diplomacy. We believe that no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives,” Ambassador added.
Further talking of the adverse impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the global economy, the Ambassador said, “The impact of the crisis has also been felt beyond the region with increasing food and energy costs, especially for many developing countries. It is in our collective interest to work constructively, both inside United Nations and outside, towards seeking an early resolution to the conflict.”
Ukraine thanks UN for suspending Russia from Human Rights Council
Meanwhile hailing the Council’s verdict, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, “Russia’s rights of membership in the UN Human Rights Council has just been suspended. War criminals have no place in UN bodies aimed at protecting human rights. Grateful to all member states which supported the relevant UNGA resolution and chose the right side of history.”
The development (Russia’s suspension from Human Rights Council) came two days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for Russia’s expulsion from the powerful UN Security Council.
Addressing the United Nations Security Council earlier, the Ukrainian President said, “Either remove the Russian Federation as a source of war so it can no longer block decisions made about its own aggression, or simply dissolve yourselves altogether if there is nothing to do other than engage in conversation. Are you ready to close the United Nations? Do you think that the time for international law is gone.”
Russia announces decision to withdraw from UNHRC
Meanwhile, Russia announced its decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council starting from 7 April 2022, before the expiration of its term of membership.
“The resolution initiated by the United States, which was adopted today by the UN General Assembly, is based not on the human rights situation in a specific country, but solely on geopolitical priorities of the collective West, which does not abandon attempts to subjugate various spheres of interaction between states in the international arena. Those who disagree with their approach, as the Westerners see it, should be “punished”. The main goal is to find a pretext,” Ambassador Gennady Gatilov said.