The UN General Assembly has elected the Czech Republic to Russia as the successor to the UN Human Rights Council. Russia was shut down last month as one of 47 countries. It may still exist as an observer, but I prefer not to do so in an extra session in Ukraine today.
The Czech Republic was the only candidate to succeed Russia on the UN Human Rights Council. 157 countries voted in favor and 23 abstained. The Czech Republic will occupy seats until the end of 2023.
Therefore, the Czech Republic will replace Russia. Last month, a majority of UN member states passed a resolution suspending Russia from the Human Rights Council. The resolution was submitted by the United States in response to allegations of war crimes committed by Russian troops in the city of Butcha.
Russia may still attend as an observer, but today chose not to attend an extraordinary meeting convened at the request of the Ukrainian government to discuss “deterioration of the human rights situation in Ukraine”.
“Russian delegations will not be justified by the existence of this new political show, which will be performed in the form of an extraordinary meeting,” said Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry. Today’s talks are the first since the United Nations banned Russia in early April.
Successor to the Human Rights Commission
The Human Rights Council is an intergovernmental organization within the United Nations. The Council was established in 2006 and is the successor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Members of the council meet several times a year in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss human rights around the world. The Human Rights Council’s mission is to protect and strengthen human rights. The council makes recommendations on how best to do this.
The Human Rights Council is made up of representatives from 47 countries. Of these 47 representatives, 13 are from Africa, 13 from Asia, 8 from Latin America, 6 from Eastern Europe, 7 from Western Europe and elsewhere. Russia, which had been suspended, had to be replaced by other countries in Eastern Europe.
The UN General Assembly chooses to become a member of the Human Rights Council by secret ballot. Each country is given a three-year mission and can attend the council for up to six consecutive years. Argentina will chair the Human Rights Council this year.