Russia “attempted illegal annexation” of four regions of Ukraine has been strongly denounced by the UN General Assembly, which has demanded its immediate reversal. This vote is a sign of the strong international opposition to the seven-month war and Moscow’s attempt to annex its neighbor’s territory.
The 193-member international organization voted 143-5 with 35 abstentions.
A total of 35 people abstained during the 193-member global body’s decision, which was 143-5.
Out of the four resolutions the General Assembly has voted on since Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine on February 24, this one showed the most support for Ukraine and against Russia.
Sergiy Kyslytsya, the ambassador of Ukraine to the UN, referred to the vote as “wonderful” and “a historic moment.”
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield described it as “a tremendous day” and stated that supporters were “holding our breaths.”
It is “a wonderful success” that “sends a thundering message to Russia that they are and remain isolated,” according to European Union Ambassador Olof Skoog.
The resolution was supported by the West in response to Russia last month’s stated annexation of the provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine.
Moscow reacted in response to Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” that the West and the Ukrainian government have rejected as sham elections held on occupied territory during times of conflict and dislocation.
Speaker after speaker in the emergency special session on Ukraine that the assembly resumed over the course of two days accused Russia of disregarding fundamental tenets of the UN Charter, including the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all UN member states.
Before Wednesday’s vote, proponents of the resolution that the EU helped facilitate actively lobbied.
Before the voting, US representative Thomas-Greenfield informed the assembly that the United Nations was founded on the principle “that never again would one country be allowed to acquire another’s land by force.” The United Nations was founded on the ashes of World War II.
After the vote, she informed reporters that “in the eyes of the world and the UN, Ukraine’s borders remain the same.”
“The resolution also conveys a crucial message to Moscow and to everyone else: It makes no difference whether your country is huge or little, wealthy or impoverished, ancient or new. Your boundaries are your own and are safeguarded by international law if you are a UN member state “explained Thomas-Greenfield.
“They cannot be forcedly redrawn by anyone else.”
How many nations would back the resolution was a crucial concern for its Western proponents, and the outcome exceeded even their most hopeful predictions.
The General Assembly voted 141-5 with 35 abstentions. March 2 to demand an immediate Russian cease-fire, the removal of all Russian forces, and the protection of all civilians.
On March 24, it voted 140-5 with 38 abstentions in favor of a resolution accusing Russia of causing the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and calling for an immediate halt to hostilities as well as the protection of millions of civilians and the homes, schools, and hospitals that are vital to their survival.
But on April 7, the assembly voted by a far narrower margin to expel Russia from the UN’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council amid claims that Russian troops in Ukraine committed rights breaches that the US and Ukraine have labeled war crimes.
With 58 abstentions, the vote was 93 to 24.
A 2014 resolution was approved by a vote of 100-11 with 58 abstentions, reaffirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity and deeming the referendum that resulted in Russia annexing the Crimean Peninsula unconstitutional.
The United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council were among the unexpected backers of Wednesday’s motion.
Vassily Nebenzia, the ambassador of Russia to the United Nations, had urged nations to vote against the resolution, describing it as “a politicized and overtly confrontational document” and criticizing its proponents as “scrupulous Western blackmailers.”
He expressed sorrow that a secret ballot was not used, as Russia had requested but the assembly had rejected it.
Nebenzia reaffirmed Russia’s assertions that the votes were legitimate, stating that “the people in these territories do not wish to return to Ukraine.”
North Korea, Belarus, Syria, and Nicaragua were the four nations that joined Russia in voting against the resolution.
Kyslytsya of Ukraine sincerely regretted that the four nations “made the incorrect choice against the UN Charter” and asked them to rethink their dedication to the UN’s tenets.
19 of the 35 nations that voted against it were from Africa, including South Africa. Along with Pakistan and Cuba, the world’s two most populous nations, China and India, also chose to abstain.
The veto power of Russia, which it used on September 29 to reject criticism of Russia’s attempts to annex Ukrainian land, has prevented the more powerful Security Council, whose resolutions are binding, from acting on Ukraine.
Contrarily, the General Assembly, where vetoes are unheard of, has now ratified four resolutions criticizing Russia over Ukraine.
Although not legally binding, its votes represent the consensus of the world.
The resolution passed on Wednesday states that Moscow’s actions undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are “inconsistent” with the UN Charter, and “have no legitimacy under international law and do not form the foundation for any change of the status of these territories of Ukraine.”
“Russia shall immediately, completely, and unconditionally remove all of its military forces from the land of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” the document demands of Russia.
It also advocates “the de-escalation of the current situation and a peaceful resolution of the crisis through political conversation, negotiation, mediation and other peaceful means” that respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and internationally recognized borders.
Over 70 speakers from more than 70 different nations pushed for a diplomatic end to the war. The European Union’s Skoog deemed the call for a peaceful resolution “extremely significant,” but emphasized that it must be based on Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
There was a lot of backing for the resolution during the discussion on Wednesday.
Australian Ambassador Mitch Fifield urged all nations to condemn acts of aggression and referred to Russia’s proposed annexation as “illegal and a dangerous escalation.”
Voters in the four “fake” referendums “faced intimidation by the Russian military and Russia’s illegitimately appointed authority,” according to Irish ambassador Fergal Mythen.
Without saying how he would vote, Cambodian Ambassador Sovann Ke encouraged that internationally recognized borders “be fully respected” and stated that the “forcible annexation of territories from a sovereign country is a flagrant breach of the UN Charter and international rules, which is not acceptable.”
Cambodia backed the resolution in the vote.
Hwang Joonkook, the ambassador of South Korea, unambiguously endorsed “the sovereignty, political independence and the geographical integrity of Ukraine.”
After the 1950–1953 Korean War, the “own tragic experiences” of his nation “can witness that any attempt to separate a nation in any form or style is only the beginning of ongoing very significant issues, rather than a solution,” he declared.
The ambassador of North Korea, Kim Song, endorsed the “self-determination” of the people in the four regions that Russia seized as a right protected by the UN Charter and said that the outcomes must be honored.
He claimed that the West, led by the United States, had “brutally” violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya under “the pretense” of advancing world peace and security without ever having such actions questioned by the Security Council.
He contended that the US meddling in other nation’s domestic affairs has persisted into the twenty-first century.
Syrian Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh demanded that nations fight attempts “to isolate Russia and to adopt double standards” and accused the General Assembly of “being manipulated flagrantly by some Western countries for their own geopolitical purposes.”