Russia blocks UNSC meeting on human rights in Syria

Russia has blocked a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the human rights situation in Syria. Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the un, Gennady Kuzmin said, they do not see any justification for the meeting since human rights is not a subject on the agenda of the Council. Russia is the largest international backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

France and six other members had called for the meeting, which was expected to include a briefing from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.

China, Bolivia and Kazakhstan voted with Russia to prevent the meeting, while Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Ethiopia were abstentions.

Those who voted to hold the meeting alongside France were the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland, Holland, the United States, Peru and Kuwait.

United Nations’ Human Rights Chief has criticised the Security Council for failing to defend human rights and prevent further loss of life in Syria where the war that has killed nearly half a million people enters its eighth year.

Mr Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said many who had sought to document human rights violations had been detained, tortured or killed. He said the Council has not lived up to the sacrifice of these heroes throughout Syria.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke at an informal meeting at the UN shortly after his expected briefing to the Security Council was blocked when Russia requested a procedural vote. The 15 members of the Council attended the informal meeting.

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