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MALAYSIA REGISTERS ABSTENTION VOTE ON RUSSIA’S HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP SUSPENSION
On 7 April 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (GA), during the resumed 11th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, adopted a resolution to suspend Russia’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). During the voting, 93 Member States voted in favour, 24 voted against, and 58 abstained, while 18 Member States did not vote on the resolution.
As the HRC is a subsidiary organ of the GA, under the established Rules of Procedure of the GA, the latter may suspend the membership of a HRC member that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights, with a two-thirds majority of Member States present and voting.
Malaysia also took part in the voting process and registered our abstention vote. In its statement delivered after the vote, Malaysia stressed that a critical decision such as the suspension of a HRC member should not be made in haste and must be accorded its due processes. Malaysia also believes that the Commission of Inquiry, established by the HRC in March 2022, must be allowed time to carry out investigations and present its findings first, as to verify allegation of any gross and systemic violations of human rights and breach of humanitarian law happening in conflict areas. As a HRC member, Malaysia reiterates its principled position against any politicisation of issues at the Council.
The situation in the conflict areas in Ukraine is a call for grave concern. Malaysia continues to closely monitor developments, including the human rights and humanitarian situation on the ground. Malaysia reiterates the call for unimpeded humanitarian assistance to all those in need, particularly those in vulnerable situations.
Malaysia strongly urges all concerned parties to immediately take steps to de-escalate, continue to progress towards peaceful dialogue and negotiations, and to fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
8 April 2022