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The United Nations suspended Russia from its seat on the Human Rights Council on Thursday, April 7, 2022.  The resolution to strip Russia of its seat on the Human Rights Council passed with 93 votes in favor, 24 against and 58 abstentions.  U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield introduced the proposal following accusations that Russian troops tortured and killed Ukrainian civilians in Bucha.

Logo of the United Nations

The situation in the world right now, apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The outcome of the voting exercise that passed successfully the resolution that suspended Russia from the Human Rights Council was instructive and leaves much to be desired.  There is no doubt about the fact that Russia has been suspended successfully but does anyone bother to further interrogate the reasons why some member countries chose to vote against the resolution, while others chose not to vote at all or maintain abstention?   Ninety-three member states voted in favor of the resolution, 24 against and 58 abstained from voting.  In total, the number of those who abstained and those who voted against the resolution is 82.  This number calls for concerns and should not just be treated with levity.  There is no disputing the fact that the United Nations is a democratic institution which has as its cardinal objectives the unification of all the countries of the world upholding the human rights and dignity and preventing and ending conflicts among all the member nations, which ordinarily should comprise all the nations of the world.

The voting pattern is a pointer to the fact that all is not too well for the United Nations.  If unity among the member nations is an issue, then one begins to wonder how difficult, if not impossible, for the organization to achieve a global cooperation among member nations on important issues which are right now pressing, such as the problem of climate change and the incessant uproars and killings in some of the member states of the United Nations.

Truth has no counterfeit, and where you see people divided in their opinions on issues of great political concern, then no one needs a seer to be told that unhealthy propaganda and hatred do not always carry the day, and to this end, something urgent has to be done to bring all member states of the United Nations on the same page so that global cooperation will not be a Herculean task or an effort that will from the onset end in a fiasco.

The reality is that, in spite of the heinous crimes committed by in the United Nations, and for reasons best known to them which also deserves to be respected.  

Going forward, we all know now where the world is headed in terms of international order and diplomacy.  The world of today is not that of twenty years ago, and to this end, there is need for efforts to be intensified in achieving global peace and cooperation.

We do not have to wait until there is an urgent need for global cooperation before we start being good, loving, and accommodating to those countries which hitherto have been treated disdainfully and without the well-deserved respect for human dignity.  The politics of the United Nations should not be discriminatory.  Already, appointments in the Security Council are lopsided, and member states have always been pointing accusatory fingers at the leadership of the United Nations on issues of discrimination, racism, and selective judgments.

There is a disaster that looms and which is about to fall on the earth, as a result of the problem of climate change.  Fighting and instigating wars is counterproductive.  To be late is better than never.  The world can still come together in love and in the name of humanity and end the war in Ukraine.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  Let the superpower countries do their best to bring an end to the war in Ukraine.  All that is needed is a political will on the part of the superpowers with the United States of America taking the lead.

On a final note, bear in mind and let this truth resonate with you well—that suspending Russia not only from the Human Rights Council, even from the membership of the United Nations, is not a way to a peaceful resolution, and that also does not amount to suspending Russia from the world.  No matter how wicked a tree is, it must live in and with the forest.  This is food for thought, for united we stand and divided we fall.

God bless the world and humanity!

Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju

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