Anti-Russian resolution on Ukraine gets limited support at WHO – Reuters

The World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a draft anti-Russian resolution on Ukraine on Wednesday, condemning the ongoing special military operation and accusing Moscow of targeting the country’s health services.

The resolution, titled “Health emergency in Ukraine and in refugee-hosting and host countries, resulting from the aggression of the Russian Federation” was co-sponsored by all EU members except Hungary, and by several other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The document was backed by 80 of the global health watchdog’s 194 member states, with 52 abstentions, nine votes against and 36 absent in the vote for various reasons.

The draft resolution squarely criticizes Russia for having “continuing health emergency” in Ukraine and in countries hosting refugees, accusing Moscow of “attacks on health establishments”, as well as “widespread attacks against civilians and critical civilian infrastructure” which would have led “heavy losses”. The stance effectively matches the narrative being pushed by Kyiv, while Moscow has repeatedly said it exclusively targets military or dual-use facilities in the country.

Moreover, Russia has repeatedly accused Ukraine of stationing troops in civilian facilities such as schools or hospitals, making them legitimate targets. At the same time, Kyiv forces regularly bomb civilian facilities, including schools and hospitals, in Russian towns near the front lines.

At the WHO assembly, a Ukrainian representative claimed that the hostilities had damaged some 1,256 health facilities. Some 177 of them were completely destroyed, and some 237 health workers and patients were killed or injured. Apart from them, the country has lost more than 20% of its ambulance fleet, the representative claimed.

In addition to passing the anti-Russia resolution, the global health body rejected an alternative and politically neutral document tabled by Russia, titled “Health emergency in and around Ukraine”. Some 62 members voted against, 61 others abstained, and only 13 supported it. The other Member States were also not represented during the vote on the alternative document.

Russia condemned the decision by the WHO and the countries that pushed through the resolution, saying the action was just the latest attempt to “wrongly politicize” the so-called neutral international body.

“The provision of medical care should be free of politics, just like the WHO,” a Russian representative told the organization. “Western countries are bringing politics into this organization.”


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