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Russia Leads Opposition To U.S.-Led Rights Meeting At UN

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley

Russia, China, and Kazakhstan were among the nations that opposed a move by the United States on April 18 to make a link between human rights abuses and conflicts at the United Nations.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who this month is the rotating president of the UN Security Council, called the council's first meeting on human rights and said more such meetings should occur, but met with strong resistance led by Russia.

Haley said that human rights violations have triggered conflict and stifled dissent in countries around the world and, citing Syria and North Korea, argued that rights abuses are "one of the clearest possible indicators that instability and violence may follow."

Russian deputy UN envoy Yevgeny Zagainov said human rights issues should be brought before the UN's Human Rights Council, which Washington accuses of being anti-Israel and has threatened to quit.

The Security Council has a different mission, he said, and is "vested with unique powers to make decisions, including the use of force, in situations that constitute a threat to peace."

But Zagainov said Iraq and Syria were examples of nations where interfering under the pretext of protecting human rights caused the destabilization of entire regions and created "vast areas of chaos and violence, where even the basic right for life cannot be ensured."

Based on reporting by AP, TASS, and Reuters

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