India abstains in UNSC procedural vote to convene General Assembly session on Ukraine

India abstained in a procedural vote at the UN Security Council to convene a rare special emergency session of the UN General Assembly on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine , even as New Delhi welcomed Moscow and Kiev’s decision to hold talks on the Belarusian border.

The resolution passed with 11 votes in favour, paving the way for a General Assembly meeting on the crisis as early as Monday. India, China and the United Arab Emirates abstained, while Russia voted against the resolution. It will be only the 11th such emergency session of the General Assembly since 1950.
The 15-nation Security Council met Sunday afternoon to vote on the emergency special session of the 193-member General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It comes two days after the Russian veto blocked a UNSC resolution on its “aggression” against Ukraine.

The vote calling for the UNGA session was procedural, so none of the five permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – could exercise his right of veto.

“It is regrettable that the situation in Ukraine has further deteriorated since the last meeting of the Council on this issue,” India’s Permanent Representative to UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti said in explanation. Sunday’s vote.

He stressed that “there is no other choice but to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue”.

“We welcome today’s announcement by both sides to hold talks on the Belarusian border,” he said.

Tirumurti said India remains deeply concerned about the safety and security of Indian nationals, including a large number of Indian students, who are still stranded in Ukraine.

“Our evacuation efforts have been affected by the complex and uncertain situation at the border crossing points. It is important to maintain an uninterrupted and predictable movement of people. This is an urgent humanitarian need that must be immediately addressed,” did he declare.

“Given all the circumstances, we have decided to abstain,” he said.

The President of the 76th session of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, who was due to attend the 49th regular session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, canceled his trip “due to the current situation in Ukraine and developments potential members of the Security Council”, to vote on it.

He also met on Saturday with Ukraine’s permanent representative to the UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya after the veto on the draft resolution in the Security Council. Kyslytsya briefed Shahid “on the security situation in Kyiv and the potential action he would request from the General Assembly”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also canceled his planned trip to Geneva for the Human Rights Council meeting “due to the worsening situation in Ukraine”.

On Friday night, the Security Council failed to adopt the US-sponsored resolution that would have deplored Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine after Moscow used its veto.

Also on Friday, India, China and the United Arab Emirates abstained from voting on the resolution, while 11 Council members voted in favour.

The UNSC resolution was to be blocked since Russia, a permanent member of the Council and chair of the UN body for the month of February, was certain to use its veto. Western nations said the resolution sought to show Moscow’s isolation on the world stage for its invasion and actions against Ukraine.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said after the failed UNSC vote that “we will take this issue to the General Assembly, where the Russian veto does not apply and the nations of the world will continue to hold Russia accountable.”

While a UNSC resolution would have been legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are not. A vote in the 193-member UN body is symbolic of world opinion.

In explaining India’s vote to the Security Council on Friday, Tirumurti said New Delhi was “deeply troubled” by the recent turn of events in Ukraine and urged that all efforts be made for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities.

Tirumurti also said India was “deeply concerned” for the welfare and safety of the Indian community, including a large number of Indian students, in Ukraine.

“Dialogue is the only answer to settling disputes and disputes, daunting as they may seem at this time. It is unfortunate that the path of diplomacy has been abandoned. We must return to it. For all these reasons, l India chose to abstain on this resolution,” he said.

In March 2014, after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the General Assembly adopted a resolution which underlined the “invalidity” of the referendum organized in “autonomous Crimea”.

By a recorded vote of 100 votes in favour, 11 votes against and 58 abstentions, the Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, calling on States, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any change in the status of Crimea or the port city of Sevastopol on the Black Sea, and to refrain from actions or transactions which could be interpreted as such. India abstained on the resolution.

Under the resolution “Unite for Peace”, adopted by the General Assembly in November 1950, an emergency special session can be convened within 24 hours of the request for such a meeting.


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