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Thursday, February 29, 2024

India abstains in UNGA on Ukraine vote, questions effectiveness of UNSC

Date:

 India on Thursday abstained on a vote in the UN General Assembly on a resolution that demanded Russia leave Ukraine, even as India’s ambassador pointedly asked the global audience whether the world is anywhere near a solution acceptable to both sides, and whether the UN body, especially the Security Council, has not been rendered ineffective to address challenges to global peace and security.

India was among 32 member states that abstained on the non-binding resolution that was adopted with 141 votes, while seven members voted against it.

Among those who voted against the resolution were Russia, Belarus, Eritrea, Syria, Mali and Nicaragua, while Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan, China, Sri Lanka, Lao, Vietnam, Iran, Mongolia and India were among the countries that abstained on the resolution put forward by Ukraine and its supporters.

Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, in her address said that India continues to remain concerned over the situation in Ukraine and the loss of lives and the misery inflicted on the people, particularly the women, children and elderly

“Reports of attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are deeply concerning. We have consistently advocated that no solution can ever be arrived at, at the cost of human lives,” she stressed.

She reiterated PM Modi’s call that “this cannot be an era of war” and that a return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy is the only way forward.

She said that India’s approach to the Ukrainian conflict will continue to be people centric, adding that India is providing humanitarian aid to Kyiv, as well as providing economic support to some of India’s neighbours in the global south that are in distress amid the escalating costs of food, fuel and fertiliser, which has been a consequential fallout of the ongoing conflict.

“The overall objective of today’s resolution seeking a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in line with the UN charter is understandable. We also note the emphasis on increasing support by member states for diplomatic efforts to achieve peace as well as support for the secretary general’s efforts to promote a comprehensive just and lasting peace in Ukraine.

“However, reports from the ground portray a complex scenario with the conflict intensifying on several fronts,” Kamboj said, in reference to the West’s active and increased support to Kyiv with powerful weapons, and Moscow’s heightened retaliation.

“Today as the General Assembly marks a year of the Ukrainian conflict, it is important that we ask ourselves a few pertinent questions: Are we anywhere near a possible solution acceptable to both sides? Can any process that does not involve either of the two sides ever lead to a credible and meaningful solution? Has the UN system and particularly its principal organ the UN Security Council, based on a 1945-world construct, not been rendered ineffective to address contemporary challenges to global peace and security?”

She stressed that India remains committed to multilateralism, and upholds the principles of the UN charter, and that it will always call for dialogue and diplomacy as the only viable way out.

“While we take note of the stated objectives of today’s resolution, given its inherent limitations in reaching our desired goal of securing lasting peace, we are constrained to abstain,” she said.

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