UN General Assembly urged to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine

Consult our complete file on the Russian invasion in Ukraine

The UN General Assembly is called to vote on Wednesday, after two days of speeches by its members, on a draft resolution aimed at condemning Russia for the invasion of Ukraine and asking for an “immediate” withdrawal from his troops.

The West and the UN accuse Moscow of violating Article 2 of the United Nations Charter requiring its members to refrain from threats and the use of force to settle a crisis. Russia, for its part, claims to exercise its right to self-defence, provided for in Article 51 of the Charter.

• Read also: LIVE | 7th day of war in Ukraine

• Read also: The Russian army claims to have conquered the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine

• Read also: Four things to know about sanctions against Russia

To be adopted, the resolution piloted by the European Union in coordination with Kyiv will have to obtain two thirds of the votes for and against expressed.

During a rare “emergency special session” on Monday and Tuesday, the UN General Assembly showed an overwhelming majority of countries denouncing Russia’s behavior and calling for “an end to the fighting”.

The resolution put to the vote, inspired by a text rejected last week in the UN Security Council because of a veto posed by Russia which outraged Westerners, “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression of Russia against Ukraine” and affirms “its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, including “its territorial waters”.

The text “demands that Russia immediately cease to use force against Ukraine” and that it “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces” from Ukrainian territory. He “condemns Russia’s decision to increase the alerting of its nuclear forces”, a mention absent from the text presented to the Security Council.

Throughout the General Assembly session, many countries in Africa and Latin America joined forces with the United States and Europe to denounce the Russian invasion.

Colombia rejected “any backtracking” to “great empires”. “We are all Ukrainians, we are all Ukraine,” claimed Jamaica, as concern grew over a domino effect if Russia managed to seize Ukraine. In such a case, “who will be next?” asked Albania.

The Arab world has remained in the background, with Kuwait, victim of an invasion of Iraq in 1990, standing out from the crowd to explicitly denounce Moscow.

For the Asian continent and the Pacific region, Japan and New Zealand denounced Russian violations of international law. Militarily close to Moscow, India remained cautious, while China stressed that the world had “nothing to gain” from a new Cold War.

On the Russian side, unsurprisingly, Syria, Nicaragua, Cuba and North Korea castigated the Westerners who – Pyongyang claimed – “destroyed Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan”.

Still represented at the UN by a diplomat appointed by the old regime, Afghanistan, like Burma where the military was not recognized as legitimate after their 2021 coup, will vote in favor of the resolution after having joined a cohort of a hundred countries having decided to co-sponsor the text.

In 2014, a similar condemnation of Russia for the annexation of Crimea, which was carried out without bloodshed unlike the current invasion, obtained 100 votes in favor, 11 against, while 58 countries opposed were abstained and that the rest of the 193 members had not taken part in the ballot.

Within the General Assembly, the right of veto, the privilege of the five permanent members of the Security Council (United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom), does not exist. Its resolutions are not legally binding like those of the Council, but they have a strong political value depending on the number of countries that approve them.

In an attempt to break the impasse in the Security Council, France is drafting a resolution with Mexico aimed at protecting humanitarian aid. Initially expected on Tuesday, its vote is now scheduled for the end of the week due to arduous negotiations, including between Paris and Washington, according to diplomats.

The position of Moscow, which could affix a new veto, remains unknown.


Leave a Comment