(NEW YORK) — The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday voted to pass a resolution to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council Thursday, in response to Russian forces’ alleged killings of civilians in Ukraine.
The vote passed with 93 countries voting in favor, 24 voting against and 58 abstaining from voting. Belarus, China, Iran, Russia and Syria were among the countries who voted against the resolution.
The vote came amid global outrage over the alleged killings of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine, after Russian forces withdrew from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
The UNGA needed a two-thirds majority to suspend Russia, now the second country ever suspended after the UNGA voted to remove Libya from the Human Rights Council in 2011 in response to Moammar Gadhafi’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.
In a speech prior to the vote, a Ukrainian representative urged the assembly to remove Russia from the council.
“Suspension of Russia from the human rights council is not an option, but a duty,” Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told CNN on Wednesday that they “absolutely” have the votes to suspend Russia.
“We have been working very, very hard since this war started to build a coalition of countries who are prepared to condemn Russia. We got 141 votes, the first time we went into the General Assembly. The second time we got 140. And I have no doubt that we can defeat Russia here on the Human Rights Council,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
She added: “They don’t deserve to be on the Human Rights Council.”
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