By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. April 8, 2022: Several Caribbean nations choose to abstain Thursday in a vote at the United Nations called to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Commission.
The vote came as more than 35 people were killed and over 100 injured in a rocket attack on a crowded train station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, Ukraine’s state railway company said. Thousands of civilians have been waiting at train stations in the country’s east to evacuate as Russian strikes intensify. Moscow denied being behind the strike and denies targeting civilians despite well-documented evidence to the contrary.
Ukrainian soldiers clear out bodies after a rocket attack killed at least 35 people on April 8, 2022 at a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was being used for civilian evacuations. (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)
On Thursday, the CARICOM nations of Guyana, Barbados, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago abstained in the UN vote after a United States-initiated resolution. It was, however, successfully passed.
The resolution was brought to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) after there were high-profile allegations of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers during the war in Ukraine.
EBodies are covered with plastic sheets after a rocket attack killed at least 35 people on April 8, 2022 at a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was being used for civilian evacuations. (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)
In total, there were 93 votes cast in favor of the resolution and 24 against; 58 countries abstained but their votes were not included in the final tally.
“The abstention is based on consultations with other CARICOM states,” Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugh Todd said in a brief comment to the Guyana News Room on Thursday. “It’s us following the events and the main thing is we, as CARICOM Foreign Ministers, are focused on preserving the institution of the United Nations.”
Libya lost its seat in 2011 on the UN Human Rights Commission, following repression of protests by ruler Muammar Gaddafi, who was later overthrown.