GENEVA, March 2 – Despite Russia’s aggression in Ukraine in open breach of the UN charter and international law, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is scheduled to visit Geneva tomorrow to address the United Nations Human Rights Council, as Moscow takes its seat for the first regular session since being elected as a new member of the 47-nation body. Click here for High Level speakers’ schedule.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will give the opening speech, followed by Human Rights Council president Baudelaire Ndong Ella, General Assembly president John Ashe, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
Samantha Power is slated to represent the U.S. , which has yet to confirm President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to the Geneva council.
Other new members to take their seats on Monday are China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. Venezuela and Pakistan joined last year.
“Hypocrisy on this scale undermines the credibility of the human rights council and of the United Nations as a whole,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.
“The UN’s top human rights body is supposed to protect victims and hold the world’s worst perpetrators to account, not turn them into judges and prosecutors.”
Despite having a notoriously corrupt judiciary and no rule of law, Russia is planning to submit a draft resolution the council on “judicial integrity.”
Russia’s foreign ministry, quoted by Tass, announces: “The draft resolution is aimed at strengthening international guarantees to make justice fair and unbiased.
Moscow is also deeply concerned about ensuring respect for principles at the council: “We believe that the UNHRC activity should be based on equal interstate cooperation.”
“All interested parties should give up double standards in this aspect,” the ministry said.