Czechia volunteers to replace Russia on UN Human Rights Council

The Czech Republic has submitted a nomination to join the United Nations council after Russia was suspended earlier this month over suspected war crimes. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 23.04.2022 09:47:00 (updated on 23.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic is aiming to replace Russia on the United Nations' Human Rights Council after the latter was suspended earlier this month over suspected war crimes committed in Ukraine.

"Russia must take responsibility for the aggression, human suffering, and destruction in Ukraine. That's why its membership in the UN Human Rights Council was suspended," the Czech Foreign Ministry tweeted on Friday evening.

"The Czech Republic wants to replace Russia in the Council, we have just submitted our candidacy. The promotion of human rights is a priority of the Czech government."

The United Nations' Human Rights council is made up of 47 members who aim to promote and protect human rights around the world. Members are elected to staggered three-year terms, with a group of new members announced every year.

The Czech Republic previously served on the United Nations' Human Rights Council from 2019-2021 and 2012-2014. It was also one of its inaugural members when the council was formed in 2006.


"The Czech Republic will work for the advancement of human rights in international human rights fora in a fair and equal manner," the Czech Foreign Ministry states in its English-language submission to the UN council.

"We will support adequate and timely responses to human rights violations and abuses wherever they occur. We will work to pursue accountability. We will address both country-specific and thematic issues, including those requiring an urgent action of the Human Rights Council."

Russia was suspended from the Human Rights Council on April 7 after widespread reports of war crimes emerged from areas of Ukraine previously occupied by Russian forces. At an emergency session of the UN General Assembly, 93 members voted to remove Russia from the council, with 24 members voting against and 58 abstaining.

Following the suspension, Russian Deputy U.N. Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin announced that Russia had decided to quit the Human Rights Council anyway.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, there have been increasing reports of Russian war crimes in Ukraine since the invasion of the country began on February 24.

Russian armed forces have been accused of bombing civilian areas indiscriminately, destroying hospitals and schools and killing civilians in the process. Widespread reports of murder and rape of civilians in areas liberated from Russian occupation have also emerged in recent weeks.

These actions can be considered war crimes, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated. Some leaders, including United States President Joe Biden, have termed Russia's actions in Ukraine genocide.

According to the United Nations, more than 2,000 civilians including over 200 children have been killed since the invasion of Ukraine began, numbers that are quickly rising as new reports come in.

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