The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest terms”. China and Indian, however, abstained.
Titled “Aggression against Ukraine”, the resolution demanded an immediate halt to the offensive and the withdrawal of all Russian troops.
It was backed by 141 of the assembly’s 193 members, with five votes against the resolution and 35 abstentions.
It prompted a standing ovation among delegates who supported the resolution, with Assembly president Abdulla Shahid struggling to read out the result over the long, loud applause which filled the New York chamber.
In asking delegates to vote against the resolution, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said Western countries were putting “unprecedented pressure” on other countries to pass it.
“This document will not allow us to end military activities. On the contrary, it could embolden Kyiv radicals and nationalists to continue to determine the policy of their country at any price, holding peaceful civilians hostage, but not in the figurative sense of the term, but in the literal sense of it,” he said.
Which countries voted against it?
- North Korea
Significance of this resolution?
It was passed after a rare General Assembly emergency special session was called on Monday, with proceedings kicking off on Tuesday and continuing on into Wednesday.
It’s the first time such a session has been called in decades — the last emergency session was in 1997 during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The UN’s website says those meetings are called when, because of a lack of unanimity of the permanent members, the UN’s Security Council fails to: “exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.”
As one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, Russia has a special power called the “right to veto”, which means if it votes against a resolution, it won’t be approved.
China, France, the UK and the US also have these powers.
There are also 10 elected committed members who serve two-year, non-consecutive terms — they get a vote, but can’t veto decisions.
Applause breaks out as the United Nations General Assembly votes to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and call for the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces. https://t.co/4F8yZ2zVQX pic.twitter.com/bvCPp1tQWx
— ABC News (@ABC) March 2, 2022
- Central African Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- United Republic of Tanzania