UN General Assembly Suspends Russia from Human Rights Council; China Still a Member

View of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council of United Nations in Geneva, Switzerl
Siavosh Hosseini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday to suspend Russia from its membership in the U.N. Human Rights Council — though other rights-abusing nations, such as China, Cuba, and Venezuela, remain members in good standing.

The U.N. announced:

The resolution received a two-thirds majority in the 193-member Assembly, with 93 nations voting in favour and 24 against.

Fifty-eight abstained from the process.

The meeting marked the resumption of a special emergency session on the war in Ukraine and followed reports of violations committed by Russian forces.

Russia had warned other member states that any vote against it would be interpreted as a hostile gesture that would affect relations going forward. Ukraine celebrated the vote as a gesture of international solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they struggle to repel the ongoing Russian invasion.

The last country to be suspended from the U.N. Human Rights Council was Libya, which was suspended by the U.N. General Assembly in 2011, and reinstated later that year after the fall of its leader, Muammar Ghadafi.

The U.N. Human Rights Council has been criticized as a forum in which dictators can sanitize their atrocious human rights records, often by accusing other countries of human rights abuses, usually Israel, and to a lesser extent the United States.

Member states, elected by regional groups, often include tyrannical regimes that routinely abuse the rights of their own citizens, such as China.

President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the organization in 2018, saying it had become impossible to reform.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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