Ghana abstained from a vote that would have seen the suspension of Vladimir Putin’s Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly voted on Thursday, April 7, to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council over reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine.
The resolution which took place on Thursday, April 7, 2022, received a two-thirds majority of members voting, minus abstentions, in the 193-member Assembly, with 93 nations voting in favor and 24 against.
Fifty-eight abstained from the process.
Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Vietnam, were among those who voted against.
Those abstaining, included India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia.
The meeting marked the resumption of a special emergency session on the war in Ukraine and followed reports of violations committed by Russian forces.
Following the outcome of the resolution, Moscow, according to a Reuters news report sighted by GhanaWeb, has announced it was quitting the body.
Speaking after the vote, Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin described the move as an “illegitimate and politically motivated step” and then announced that Russia had decided to quit the Human Rights Council altogether.
“You do not submit your resignation after you are fired,” Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told reporters.
Russia was in its second year of a three-year term. Under the resolution on Thursday, the General Assembly could have later agreed to end the suspension. But that cannot happen because Russia has quit the council, just as the United States did in 2018 over what it called chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform.
The General Assembly text on Thursday expresses “grave concern at the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” particularly at reports of rights abuses by Russia.
Russia says it is carrying out a “special military operation” that aims to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure and denies attacking civilians. Ukraine and allies say Moscow invaded without provocation.