The United Nations General Assembly suspended Libya from the Human Rights Council, expressing its deep concern over the killings of hundreds of anti-government protesters in the country.
The Geneva-based Human Rights Council, created five years ago, had urged the suspension of Libya in a resolution on February 25, first time such measure was adopted against a sitting member.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his address to the Assembly, welcomed the recommendation of the Human Rights Council to suspend Libya’s membership “so long as the violence continued” and said, “The world has spoken with one voice: we demand an immediate end to the violence against civilians and full respect for their fundamental human rights, including those of peaceful assembly and free speech.”
While other members welcomed the decision, Costa Rica’s representative reminded the Assembly that the Libyan government had already been “a voracious, repressive machine” when it had been elected to the Council in 2010. He said the council should learn the lesson from the Libyan example and improve the parameters of Council integration to prevent such situations henceforth.
U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton also welcomed the move and demanded an immediate halt to the violence perpetrated by the Qadhafi government against its own citizens. The General Assembly today has made it clear that governments that turn their guns on their own people have no place on the Human Rights Council.
Libya was subjected to severe arms embargo and economic sanctions by the UN Security council on Saturday.