UNITED NATIONS, Feb 24 (APP):On the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.N. General Assembly is set to vote late Thursday afternoon on a resolution that underscores the need for peace ensuring the country’s “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity”.
The resolution calls on U.N. member states and international organizations “to redouble support for diplomatic efforts” to achieve peace on those terms.
Intense lobbying efforts were going on by supporters of Ukraine to broaden support for the resolution, which is sponsored by 60 countries and put forward by Germany.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy telephoned his Pakistani counterpart, Dr. Arif Alvi, to seek Islamabad’s support. In response, President Alvi conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern over the continuing conflict in Ukraine, and said his government was evaluating the contents of the resolution.
Today, Pakistan is listed among the countries who have inscribed them to speak in explanation of their vote.
In October 2022, 143 UNGA members had voted to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories. Five countries, including Russia, voted against the resolution.
Pakistan was among the 35 countries that abstained.
The new resolution reiterates the General Assembly’s previous demand that Russia “immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces” from Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. And it reaffirms that no territory acquired by the threat or use of force will be considered legal.
Speaking at the start of the session on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced Moscow’s actions as an “attack on our collective conscience”.
At the same time, the UN chief warned of a further escalation of the war, referring to “indirect threats” of the use of nuclear weapons and “irresponsible” military actions in the vicinity of nuclear power plants.
“It is high time to move away from the abyss,” Guterres said.
Unlike the UN Security Council, Russia has no veto right in the UN General Assembly. Since Moscow invaded Ukraine last February, the assembly has passed a series of resolutions that are not binding under international law, condemning the war.
Ukraine and its allies hope to get an overwhelming majority of the 193-member states’ votes. (Only 191 member states will be eligible to vote. Lebanon and Venezuela are in deep arrears on their dues to the organization and have temporarily lost their right to vote).