Russia Seeks to Rejoin UN Human Rights Council
September 29, 2023
Cited article by Richard Roth, Rob Picheta, Jessie Gretener and Florence Davey-Attlee, CNN
HRRC expresses deep concern over Russia's formal bid to rejoin the United Nations' Human Rights Council for the 2024-2026 term. As the evidence of war crimes in Ukraine and human rights violations within Russia itself is deeply troubling, HRRC emphasizes the need for continued scrutiny by the UN's Human Rights Council into Russia's candidacy.
Russia is formally seeking to rejoin the United Nations' Human Rights Council for the 2024-2026 term, nearly 18 months after it was suspended from the council due to its invasion of Ukraine. The move has elicited strong opposition from Western countries, including the United States, who argue that Russia's actions disqualify it from international bodies. The International Criminal Court has even issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged human rights abuses in Ukraine. Russia is circulating a position paper to drum up support for its candidacy, claiming that it wants to prevent the council from becoming an instrument that serves the political interests of a group of countries. However, Western nations remain firmly against Russia's bid, citing ongoing evidence of war crimes in Ukraine and human rights violations within Russia itself.
In the previous vote to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council in April 2022, 93 out of 193 UN member countries supported the move, with 24 against and 58 abstaining. Russia had joined the council in 2021 but was the first country to be removed since Libya in 2011. While Russia's return to the council faces significant opposition, it remains one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and there is no clear legal framework to remove it from that position. The international community continues to grapple with the complex issue of Russia's role in global governance bodies in light of its actions in Ukraine and its broader human rights record.