India abstains in UN General Assembly on resolution by Ukraine, allies on humanitarian crisis

UN General Assembly | AP file photo

United Nations: India on Thursday abstained in the UN General Assembly on a resolution by Ukraine and its allies on the humanitarian crisis in war-torn eastern European country.

The 193-member General Assembly resumed its 11th Emergency Special Session on Ukraine and voted Thursday on a draft resolution ‘Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine' by Ukraine and its western allies.

The resolution was adopted with 140 votes in favour, 38 abstentions and five against.

On Wednesday, India, along with 12 other UN Security Council members, had abstained on a resolution by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The UNSC resolution failed to pass as it did not get the required 9 yes votes. Only Russia and China voted in favour of the UNSC resolution.

India had previously abstained on two occasions in the Security Council and once in the General Assembly on resolutions on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The draft resolution on Ukraine in the General Assembly demands an immediate cessation of the hostilities by Russia against Ukraine, in particular of any attacks against civilians and civilian objects; demands that civilians, including humanitarian personnel, journalists and persons in vulnerable situations, including women and children, be fully protected and also demands that all parties protect civilians fleeing armed conflict and violence, including foreign nationals, notably students, without discrimination, to allow voluntary, safe and unhindered passage.

The resolution stresses that the sieges of cities in Ukraine, in particular the city of Mariupol, further aggravate the humanitarian situation for the civilian population and hamper evacuation efforts, and therefore demands to put an end to these sieges.

It recognised that the military offensive of the Russian Federation inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine and its humanitarian consequences are on a scale that the international community has not seen in Europe in decades and reiterated the call of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Russia to stop its military offensive, as well as his call to establish a ceasefire and to return to the path of dialogue and negotiations.

The resolution also recalled its demand that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

When the 11th Emergency Special Session was opened on February 28, the UN General Assembly had on March 2 adopted a resolution titled ‘Aggression against Ukraine' that had overwhelmingly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and demanded that Moscow “completely and unconditionally” withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine.

India had abstained on the resolution, which was co-sponsored by 96 UN Member States and received 141 votes in favour, a total of 34 abstentions and five nations voting against.

No action was taken on a rival resolution proposed in the UNGA by South Africa ‘Humanitarian situation emanating out of the conflict in Ukraine', which makes no mention of Russia and calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities by “all parties” in the conflict, and encourages political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means aimed at achieving lasting peace. PTI

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