Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2022) — Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo issued the following statement:
“The UN General Assembly took an historic and welcome step today by suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, citing the atrocities Russia has committed in its invasion of Ukraine. The General Assembly needed a two-thirds majority to suspend Russia, and the vote passed with 93 countries voting yes, 24 voting no, and 58 abstaining.
“It was a landmark vote – the first time that any permanent member of the Security Council had its membership revoked from any UN body. Russia is also the second country ever suspended, after the General Assembly voted to remove Libya from the Human Rights Council in 2011. This action by the Council also highlights the value of having a body with a diverse membership, with states large and small and from every hemisphere. While membership questions in the Council are fundamentally important – as we saw today – it remains the world’s only intergovernmental body aimed at promoting and protecting human rights. As such, the Council has a unique legitimacy when it speaks out against violations in North Korea or Iran or Russia.
“This historic action was the result of two factors. First, the United States and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield worked diligently to marshal a coalition of countries who were prepared to condemn Russia. It is an example of what happens when the United States actively engages in international organizations. Second, the U.S. position was enhanced by Congress, as a dozen members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee – led by the Democratic Chairman Senator Bob Menendez, and the committee’s top Republican, Senator Jim Risch – expressed support for the action.
“Strong U.S. leadership, on Capitol Hill and at the UN, combined with the hard work of our allies, made this historic vote happen.”
About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign, an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit www.betterworldcampaign.org.
Kathryn Kross | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-862-8577