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Estonia Was Co-Presenter of Resolution Demanding Suspension of Libya’s Membership in UN Human Rights Council


No. 76-E

Estonia supported the decision of the UN General Assembly to suspend Libya’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council and was one of the co-presenters of the resolution demanding this action.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that this is the first time since the creation of the UN Human Rights Council that a country’s membership has been suspended. “The widespread violence again demonstrators taking place in Libya, the repressions and restrictions on freedom of expression, gave us no choice but to suspend membership,” said Paet. “Membership in the UN Human Right Council requires members to fulfil certain obligations, and council members must be very progressive in the protection of human rights. This is certainly not the situation in Libya’s case—as a matter of fact, it is the opposite,” he added.

Foreign Minister Paet said that it is very encouraging that the international community is able to act together at critical times. “While previously the possibility of suspending a country’s membership in the UN Human Right Council was only theoretical, the UN General Assembly’s unanimous decision is proof of the fact that at the right moment the available measures can be used to send a strong and clear signal to the world,” he said.

Paet stated that Estonia also supported the prompt approval of the UN Human Rights Council resolution to impose sanctions on the Libyan leaders responsible for committing violence against and murdering protestors. “Estonia also feels it is very important that the International Criminal Court has initiated a criminal investigation regarding the possible crimes against humanity that have taken place in Libya,” noted the foreign minister.

Last week the UN Human Rights Council also made the decision to create an impartial international commission to investigate human rights violations in Libya.

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