As US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Russia’s human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law as it carries out its assault on Ukraine, he floated the idea of kicking Russia off of the UN Human Rights Council during a speech before the council on Tuesday morning.
“One can reasonably ask whether a UN member state that tries to take over another UN member state – while committing horrific human rights abuses and causing massive humanitarian suffering – should be allowed to remain on this council,” Blinken said.
There are 47 member states on the council, which are elected by the UN general assembly, with Russia being one of them.
Blinken also criticized countries such as China who have not clearly stated that Russia is the sole perpetrator of this crisis.
“Council members should stop using language implying that all sides bear equal responsibility for the unprovoked attack of one side. This isn’t evenhanded – it’s wrong – and fails to place accountability where it belongs. The same goes for members who argue, falsely, that denouncing human rights abuses is 'politicizing' the situation. It is failing to speak up about human rights abuses that politicizes the situation,” Blinken said.
Blinken challenged the UNHRC to come together to try and prevent an even more deadly war.
“These are the human rights abuses this council was created to stop. If we cannot come together now, when will we come together?” Blinken said.