The United Nations General Assembly suspended Russia from the Human Rights Council for its massacre in Bucha. Ukraine blames Russia for creating havoc and carrying out atrocities in several Ukrainian cities. The entire world was shocked by the incidents and called for sanctions on Moscow.
India adopted the neutral path in the UN and decided to abstain from voting in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on a resolution on suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. A total of 58 nations applied the policy of abstention along with India. India called upon the UN to fully respect “due process” in taking any decision.
Out of the 193 members of the assembly, 93 voted in favour of suspension, while 24 voted against and 58 abstained.
First P-5 nation to be suspended
Russia has got a dubious distinction and became the first permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (P-5) country to be suspended from the body. Russia joined with Libya to be removed from the 47-member top human rights body. Libya was removed in 2011.
India’s abstention turns in favour of US
India’s abstention turned out to be in favour of the US and its ally countries that wanted to expel Russia for its incessant attack on Ukraine.
However, Russia has warned the UNGA member-states that abstention is a signal of an unfriendly approach. It will also turn the bilateral relationship bitter.
India’s permanent representative to the UN, T S Tirumurti, however, said India decided to abstain for reasons of both “substance and process” while calling upon the UN to ensure all decisions are taken fully respecting due process. India’s explanation of the vote came after the voting.
“India has been at the forefront of protecting human rights, right from the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are adamant that all decisions be made in accordance with due process, as our democratic polity and structures require. This applies to international organisations as well, particularly the UN,” said Tirumurti, as he recalled India’s unequivocal condemnation of civilian killings in Bucha and its support for an independent probe into the killings.
The Indian ambassador reiterated India’s position that it stands for peace, dialogue, and diplomacy. We believe that no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives. If India has chosen any side, it is the side of peace and it is for an immediate end to violence, “he said.
In his explanation, the official said India continues to remain deeply concerned about the worsening situation while calling for an end to all hostilities. When innocent human lives are at stake, diplomacy must prevail as the only viable option, “he 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 the United Nations and outside, towards seeking an early resolution to the conflict, “said Tirumurti.
Biden applauds UN decision
US President Joe Biden also lauded the UN General Assembly decision to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, describing it as a meaningful step by the international community.
This is a meaningful step by the international community, further demonstrating how Putin’s war has made Russia an international pariah, Biden said hours after the UN General Assembly suspended Russia from the UNHRC with 93-24 votes and 58 abstentions. India abstained from voting.
Biden said the United States worked closely with its allies and partners around the world to drive this vote because Russia is committing gross and systemic violations of human rights.
Observing that the images coming out of Bucha and other areas of Ukraine as Russian troops withdraw are horrifying, he said the signs of people being raped, tortured, and executed–in some cases, having their bodies desecrated–are an outrage to our common humanity. Russia’s lies are no match for the undeniable evidence of what is happening in Ukraine.
Voices are being raised in every part of the world against Russia’s inhuman acts and brutal aggression in some cities in Ukraine. The violence of Russian troops continues in Ukraine. Its troops have not shown any humanity, so Russia has no place to participate in the council’s work.
It is needless to add that Russia has violated and abused human rights in Ukraine and its forces are committing war crimes.