Russia’s Exclusion from the Human Rights Council Sets a Dangerous Precedent

Explanation of vote by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin before UNGA vote on a draft resolution on suspension of Russia’s rights of membership at the UN Human Rights Council

Mr.President,

This is not the right moment for being theatrically pathetic in the manner of the Ukrainian representative, so I will speak to the point.

The draft resolution in front of us has nothing to do with the situation in the area of human rights. I will cite our note verbale that Ambassador Kyslytsa referred to earlier in this meeting. “What we see today is an attempt of the United States to preserve its position of dominance and total control, continue its stance towards “rights colonialism” in international relations. Some states have already received a subordinate status. As for those who pursue an independent foreign policy, there are attempts to have them sidetracked to the periphery of global affairs”.

The human rights architecture took decades of scrupulous work to evolve, but today we see that a small group of states made it crack. I remind that Secretary-General’s Spokesperson characterized Russia’s possible suspension from the Human Rights Council as a dangerous precedent.

Practice shows that Western approaches to solving urgent human rights problems in concrete states were unsuccessful. No conflict was resolved, but rather exacerbated. To a large extent, this happened due to Western states using their favorite toolkit consisting of coercion, sanctions, and military intervention.

Throughout its membership in the Human Rights Council and Commission, Russia consistently advocated for principles of equal and mutually respectful cooperation of states as an underlying basis for functioning of the human rights architecture. Promotion of a constructive dialogue has always been a priority for us. We worked to engage all stakeholders in collective decision-making in the interests of promoting and protecting human rights.

We reject deceitful insinuations addressed to us that are all based on fabricated materials, staged footage and fakes.

Mr. President,

This being said, we put the draft resolution to vote and call on everyone in this hall to think carefully and vote against this attempt of Western states and their allies to ruin the effective human rights architecture.

Thank you.

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin after adoption of UNGA resolution on suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council

Mr.President,

The Russian side considers the adopted General Assembly resolution on suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the UN Human Rights Council as an illegitimate and politically motivated step designed as a demonstrative punishment of a sovereign UN member state that is carrying out independent internal and external policies.

I am authorized to make the following statement. The Russian Federation took a decision to resign from the United Nations Human Rights Council starting from 7 April 2022, before the expiration of its term of membership.

Russia has always considered the Human Rights Council as an important component of a universal system for observance and protection of human rights, the main role of which is to promote constructive and depoliticized inter-state dialogue on key issues of human rights agenda.

Unfortunately, in current circumstances, the Council is in fact monopolized by a single group of states that exploits the mechanism to achieve their opportunistic goals. Having proclaimed themselves a standard of rights advocacy, these states over years have either engaged in gross and mass violations of human rights or showed indulgence towards such. Despite their status of HRC members, they are not ready to give up their egoistic political and economic interests in order to promote real stabilization of human rights situation in concrete states. Such action infringes the mandate that the international community entrusted to the HRC and undermines the overall confidence in this body.

Russia’s true commitment to protecting and promoting human rights does not let us remain part of an international mechanism, that has turned into a conductor of will of a particular group of states, who, while pressing for their goals in the decision-making process, do not hesitate to blackmail sovereign nations to get the required votes.

Our decision for early termination of our HRC membership does not mean we step back on our international obligations in the area of human rights.

Russia will keep contributing to strengthening constructive dialogue on the issue of human rights and engaging all stakeholders in collective work to elaborate solutions that should meet interests of all groups of states.

Thank you.

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