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Tags: foreign relations | war | un | human rights | council

Letter: US Senators Want Russia Removed From UN Human Rights Council

Mitt Romney
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah. (Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 March 2022 04:44 PM EDT

A bipartisan group of 12 United States senators, including Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, signed a letter to Linda Thomas-Greenfield this week, requesting the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations introduce a resolution to remove Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The letter, signed on Monday and then made available to the public on Tuesday, denounced Russia for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, bringing about widespread casualties and the destruction of residential buildings, schools, and hospitals in various Ukrainian cities and villages.

Joining Romney in the public effort to remove Russia from the UNHRC are three Republicans and eight Democrats: Sens. Jim Risch, R-Idaho.; and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., ranking member and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Chris Coons, D-Del.; Tim Kaine, D-Va.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

"In February, Russia launched a massive military invasion into the free and sovereign nation of Ukraine, resulting in thousands of casualties, including that of children, pregnant women, health workers, journalists, and countless others," wrote the senators. "We have seen the indiscriminate shelling of apartment buildings, hospitals, and schools and the slaughter of fleeing civilians.

"The multitude of crimes committed by the Russian Federation, and by Vladimir Putin himself, demonstrates that the Russian government has no intention of upholding international human rights."

They added: "According to the membership rules of the UNHRC, states engaging in a pattern of gross and systemic abuses can be removed by a two-thirds vote of the UN General Assembly. We implore you to introduce a resolution in the UN General Assembly to call for the removal of the Russian Federation from the UNHRC immediately."

The senators continued, "Russia should not have an opportunity to continue to block, stifle, and otherwise distract from important conversations on the situation of human rights in Ukraine. Swift action must be taken to show the world the United States and our allies will not stand for indiscriminate and unprovoked attacks on civilians and democracies. The time has come for Russia to no longer have a seat on the Council."

In the 16-year history of the UNHRC, only one country has been formally suspended by the 47-member Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2011, the North African country of Libya was censured for committing acts of violence against anti-government protesters of Moammar Gadhafi, the longtime Libyan revolutionary and de facto leader of the country from 1969 to 2011.

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GlobalTalk
A bipartisan group of 12 United States senators, including Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, signed a letter to Linda Thomas-Greenfield this week, requesting the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations introduce a resolution to remove Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council.
foreign relations, war, un, human rights, council
423
2022-44-29
Tuesday, 29 March 2022 04:44 PM
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