By Yoshita Singh :
India, China and the UAE abstained while Russia voted against the resolution and 11 Council members voted in favour India called for an immediate cessation of violence and an end to all hostilities, underlining that “there is no other choice but to return back to the path of diplomacy and dialogue”
FOR THE second time in as many days, India abstained on a UN Security Council resolution to convene a rare emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, even as New Delhi asserted that there is no other choice but to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue to settle the Ukraine crisis. The 15-nation Council met Sunday afternoon to vote on a procedural resolution to refer the Ukrainian situation to an emergency session of the 193-member UN General Assembly. India, China and the UAE abstained while Russia voted against the resolution and 11 Council members - Albania, Brazil, France, Gabon, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States - voted in favour. It was the second time since Friday that India abstained in the Council on a resolution on the Ukraine crisis.
The vote calling for the UNGA session was procedural so none of the five permanent members of the Council - China, France, Russia, UK and the US - could exercise their vetoes. The resolution was adopted, paving the way for the General Assembly to meet on the worsening crisis on Monday morning. The voting record in the Council Sunday was the same as that on Friday, with India, China and the UAE abstaining, Russia using its veto and 11 Council members voting in favour. The procedural resolution said that the Council has decided to call an emergency special session of the General Assembly to examine the Ukraine crisis after taking into account that the “lack of unanimity” of its permanent members at the Friday meeting prevented it from exercising its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. In the explanation of the vote, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said it is “regrettable” that the situation in Ukraine has worsened further since the Council last convened on this matter on Friday.
He reiterated India’s call for an immediate cessation of violence and an end to all hostilities, underlining that “there is no other choice but to return back to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.” Noting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has advocated this strongly in his recent conversations with the Russian and Ukrainian leadership, Tirumurti said, “We welcome today’s announcement by both sides to hold talks at the Belarus border.” In his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Modi reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of violence and a return to dialogue and expressed India’s willingness to contribute in any way towards peace efforts. In the telephonic call with Putin, Modi reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue. He appealed for an immediate cessation of violence and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue. Tirumurti also said that India continues to be deeply concerned about the safety and security of its nationals, including a large number of Indian students, who are still stranded in Ukraine.
“Our evacuation efforts have been adversely impacted by the complex and uncertain situation at the border crossings. It is important to maintain an uninterrupted and predictable movement of people. It is an urgent humanitarian necessity that must be immediately addressed,” Tirumurti said. Russia, Ukraine clash in rare emergency special session of UNGA on escalating crisis: Russia and Ukraine on Monday clashed in the UN General Assembly, which convened a rare emergency special session on the escalating crisis, with Kyiv calling on the UN body to demand that Moscow stop its offensive against it and Moscow asserting that it did not begin the hostilities but is seeking to end the war. President of the 76th session of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid presided over the meeting, only the 11th such emergency session of the General Assembly since 1950. With the adoption of the UNSC resolution on Sunday, it was for the first time in 40 years that the Council decided to call for an emergency special session in the General Assembly. Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya began his impassioned statement to the General Assembly by reading out in Russian, messages exchanged between a Russian soldier and his mother moments the soldier was killed. “We have been prompted to call for an emergency special session as the level of threat to the global security has been equated to that of the Second World War or even higher following Putin’s order to put an alert Russian nuclear forces. What Madness,” he said.
He said the General Assembly should be “vocal” in demanding that Russia stop its offensive against Ukraine, in recognising Russian actions as an act of aggression against a sovereign and independent state and in demanding from Russia to immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. Kyslytsya said the General Assembly should demand that Russia also reverse the decision relating to the status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. “The General Assembly should also be clear with regard to the treacherous role of Belarus and its involvement in aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine,” he said. “If Ukraine does not survive, the United Nations will not survive. Have no illusions. If Ukraine does not survive, we cannot be surprised if democracy fails next. Now we can save Ukraine, save the United Nations, save democracy and defend the values we believe in and that Ukrainians are fighting for and paying with their lives,” Kyslytsya said. He added that President Vladimir Putin has done everything to “delegitimise” the Russian presence in the United Nations. Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia, speaking after the Ukrainian envoy, said that the “root for the current crisis” lies in the actions of Ukraine itself. “For many years, it sabotaged and flouted its direct obligations under the Minsk package of measure,” Nebenzia said. “I wish to state that the Russian Federation did not begin these hostilities.
The hostilities were unleashed by Ukraine against its own residents, the residents of Donbass and all of those who are dissenters. Russia is seeking to end this war,” he said. “For us, Ukraine joining NATO is a red line first and foremost from the military strategic level. The deployment of NATO infrastructure in that country would compel us to adopt measures in response and this has placed us at the verge of conflict.” While a UNSC resolution condemning Russian invasion of Ukraine would have been legally binding and General Assembly resolutions are not, vote in the 193-member UN body is symbolic of world opinion on the crisis.