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Czech Republic has been approved to replace Russia on the UN Human Rights Council

Following Russia’s suspension due to allegations of horrendous rights violations by Russian military in Ukraine, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously opted for the Czech Republic to replace it on the world organization’s primary human rights council.The Czech Republic was the only contender for a seat on the Human Rights Council, which has 47 members. A successor for Russia has to come from an East European country because seats on the Geneva-based council are divided among regional groups.

KEY POINTS:

  • In the General Assembly’s secret ballot voting, 180 of the 193 members cast ballots. 157 countries voted in support of the Czech Republic, with 23 abstentions.
  • The assembly voted 93-24 with 58 abstentions to support a motion proposed by the United States to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.
  • The vote was much lower than the March vote on two resolutions calling for an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine, the departure of all Russian soldiers, and civilian protection. At least 140 countries voted in favour of both resolutions.
  • Russia’s deputy ambassador, Gennady Kuzmin, told U.N. members after the General Assembly suspended Russia that Russia had withdrawn from the Human Rights Council before the vote.
  • According to Council spokesperson Rolando Gomez, Russia avoided losing its observer status at the rights group by withdrawing.
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