Biden applauds U.N. vote to remove Russia from Human Rights Council

President Biden on Thursday lauded the United Nations for voting to suspend Russia from its Human Rights Council for what it called “gross and systemic violations and abuses of human rights” in its war on Ukraine.

Mr. Biden called the move “a meaningful step,” saying it further demonstrates how Russian President Vladimir Putin has become “an international pariah” since ordering the invasion of Ukraine last month.

“Russia has no place on the Human Rights Council,” Mr. Biden said. “After today’s historic vote, Russia will not be able to participate in the Council’s work or spread its disinformation there as the Council’s Commission of Inquiry investigates Russia’s violations and abuses of human rights in Ukraine.”

“The images we are seeing out of Bucha and other areas of Ukraine as Russian troops withdraw are horrifying,” the president said. “The signs of people being raped, tortured, executed—in some cases having their bodies desecrated—are an outrage to our common humanity. Russia’s lies are no match for the undeniable evidence of what is happening in Ukraine.”

The 193-nation General Assembly passed the resolution 93-24, with 58 nations abstaining. It is the United Nations’ only vote to suspend a nation from its Human Rights Council in 11 years.

The Biden administration, along with the United Kingdom and other allies, had pushed for the move after images surfaced of brutal images of dead civilians in Bucha and other areas of Ukraine.

Russia’s U.N. deputy Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin called the allegations “untruthful.” First Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said Russia would withdraw from the council, calling the vote “scandalous.” 


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