The UN General Assembly demands Russia reverse course on 'attempted illegal annexation'

Shailesh Khanduri
13 Oct 2022
The UN General Assembly demands Russia reverse course on 'attempted illegal annexation'

New Delhi: The UN General Assembly passed a resolution by the majority on Wednesday, calling on countries not to recognize the four regions of Ukraine which Russia has claimed, following "referendums" held late last month, and demanding that Moscow reverse course on its "attempted illegal annexation".

43 Member States in favour, with five voting against, and 35 abstentions. The countries who voted against it were Belarus, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria. Most of those countries abstaining were African nations, alongside China and India.

Immediate reversal

The resolution, now passed in the Assembly, calls on all States, the UN and international organizations not to recognize any of Russia's annexation claims and demands the immediate reversal of its annexation declaration.

The debate over the Ukrainian resolution began on Monday, with the General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi telling the world's most representative deliberative body that the UN Charter, the Secretary-General, and the Assembly itself had been clear – Russia's invasion and attempted annexation of Ukrainian territory by force, "is illegal".

Civilian areas bombarded

Since Monday morning, Russia has launched dozens of missiles targeting civilian areas of multiple Ukrainian cities, leading to dozens of deaths and injuries, in retaliation for bombing Russia's bridge to Crimea on Saturday. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the assault was "another unacceptable escalation" in Russia's February 24 invasion of its neighbour.

At the start of the debate on Monday, General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi said that "when it becomes a daily routine to watch images of destroyed cities and scattered bodies, we lose our humanity…We must find a political solution based on the UN Charter and international law."

Secret ballot rejected, India voted in favour

The debate began with a procedural vote on a measure which Russia had flagged, proposing that the Ukrainian draft resolution being debated be voted on by secret ballot, not through an open recorded vote. 107 UN member states, including India, voted in favour of a recorded vote. Only 13 nations voted in favour of Russia's call for a secret ballot, while 39, including China and Russia, abstained.

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