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UN suspends Libya’s membership in Human Rights Council

Posted by on March 2, 2011 0 Comment

New York, March 2 (DPA) The UN General Assembly decided Tuesday to suspend Libya’s membership in the 47-nation Human Rights Council after charging the government with crimes against humanity in the killings of civilian protesters.

The 192-country General Assembly’s decision was taken by consensus without a vote count. None of the UN members in the assembly opposed the resolution suspending Libya, when officially asked by Assembly President Joseph Deiss.

A former president of Switzerland, Deiss then declared the resolution adopted. A vote count would require a two-thirds majority vote, which would be more difficult to obtain than a consensus decision.

The resolution said the assembly “decides to suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”.

The suspension was supported by organisations that previously supported Libya’s strongman Muammer Gaddafi — the League of Arab States and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council.

The suspension was recommended by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council so long as violence continued in Libya. The council met last week to assess the situation in Libya and use of force against pro-democracy protesters.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged UN members to “do their duty” and act decisively to protect the Libyan people against the military crackdown.

The Mauritius delegation, which spoke on behalf of African nations before the vote, said Africa supported the suspension to show solidarity with the Libyan people’s desire to freely enjoy human rights.

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