UNITED NATIONS, Feb 22 (APP):Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reached out to his Pakistani counterpart, Dr Arif Alvi, to seek Islamabad’s support ahead of Wednesday’s UN General Assembly session which is set to take action on a draft resolution calling for the cessation of hostilities, one year after Russia invaded Ukraine, its neighbouring country.
Diplomats said the text, drafted by Ukraine in consultation with allies and discussed with interested countries, would come up for a vote at the 193-member assembly’s emergency session, which would conclude on Thursday.
According to reports from Islamabad, President Alvi told Zelensky that the contents of the draft resolution were being evaluated by the Government of Pakistan.
During the telephonic conversation, President Alvi conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern over the conflict in Ukraine, saying Islamabad sought a peaceful solution in accordance with the United Nations Charter.
In October 2022, 143 UNGA members 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 from the vote.
The resolution underscores the urgency to find “a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in line with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations” and calls on the UN members and international organizations to support that effort.
It also demands the cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of Russia’s military forces from Ukrainian territory “within its internationally recognized borders”.
Observers noted the use of the words “cessation of hostilities” rather than a “cease-fire” as a “cessation of hostilities” refers to a more permanent arrangement that goes beyond just silencing the guns.
More than 60 countries have signed on to co-sponsor the resolution, which is not legally binding but carries the moral weight of the international community.
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).