Libya suspended from the UN Human Rights Council
The UN General Assembly has suspended Libya from the UN Human Rights Council in response to the Libyan authorities’ gross and systematic human rights violations against the country’s own population.
This is the first time a member of the Human Rights Council has been suspended since the Council was established in 2006. Suspension requires a two-thirds majority among the member countries. The decision taken in New York was unanimous.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented: “This decision by the General Assembly is important most of all for the credibility of the UN. It underscores that member states were serious when in 2006 they said that members of the Human Rights Council would be suspended if they committed gross and systematic violations of human rights.”
Norway co-sponsored the resolution, which was put forward by the Arab countries Lebanon, Jordan and Qatar together with the African countries Botswana, Gabon and Nigeria. The fact that the resolution was supported by the two regional groups Libya belongs to underscores the broad consensus on the suspension of Libya.
In the course of five days, the UN has unanimously condemned the situation in Libya in clear terms by means of separate decisions by the Human Rights Council (on Friday), by the Security Council (on Saturday) and by the General Assembly (on Tuesday). These decisions have also imposed measures that put further pressure on the Libyan authorities and serve to hold them accountable.
“This latest decision demonstrates once again that the UN member countries stand united in their condemnation of the regime in Tripoli. The Libyan authorities have a responsibility to protect the country’s own population. The abuses must come to an end immediately, and those responsible be held accountable,” said Foreign Minister Støre.