South Africa’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor has berated the United Nations, stating that its member states must not be allowed to deploy it in a partisan manner.
The minister added that suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council would make it harder to hold the country accountable.
Pandor said that the body must stand for human rights equally in all countries, including Palestine, where scores of children have been killed in its conflict with Israel.
Pandor briefed the media on Friday on South Africa’s position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
South Africa this week again abstained from a crucial United Nations vote to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. It is the third time it abstained from UN votes on the deadly invasion of Ukraine.
The country has come under criticism for its non-aligned position in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
But Minister Pandor said that the UN should be consistent and stand for human rights for all, not only in this situation.
“You will recall, for example, the killing of young boys in the Palestinian territory. There was hardly a resolution, hardly a peep from the United Nations,” Minister Pandor said.
She said that suspending Russia could lead to even more conflict. “I’m worried that if we place Russia outside of institutions of global governance, we’re almost giving a licence to do what you will. We’ve now given up,” she said.