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India abstains in UN General Assembly resolution on 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.


The screen displays the results of a vote during a special session of the UN General Assembly on Russias invasion of Ukraine, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City (Photo: Reuters)

Press Trust of India United Nations
India on Thursday abstained in the UN General Assembly on a resolution by Ukraine and its allies on the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn eastern European country, saying the focus should be on cessation of hostilities and on urgent humanitarian assistance and the draft did not fully reflect New Delhi's expected focus on these challenges.
The 193-member UN General Assembly adopted the draft resolution Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine' by Ukraine and its western allies, with 140 nations voting in favour, five against and 38 abstentions. India abstained on the resolution.
"We firmly believe efforts at the United Nations should contribute to de-escalation of the conflict, facilitate immediate cessation of hostilities to promote dialogue and diplomacy and bring together parties to find an immediate end to the suffering of the people," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said in the Explanation of Vote after the resolution was adopted.
"We continue to underline the need to respect the UN Charter, international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. India abstained on the resolution since what we require now is to focus on cessation of hostilities and on urgent humanitarian assistance. The draft resolution did not fully reflect our expected focus on these challenges," Tirumurti said, reiterating India's call for immediate ceasefire.
Tirumurti underlined that India continues to remain deeply concerned at the ongoing situation which has rapidly been deteriorating since the beginning of the hostilities. He noted that the conflict has resulted in death of civilians, and nearly 10 million people have either been displaced internally or moved to neighboring countries.
"We have constantly called for cessation of hostilities," he said, noting with concern that the humanitarian situation continues to worsen, particularly in the conflict zones in urban areas.
"Women, children and elderly are disproportionately affected by the prolonging of this conflict," he said.
Tirumurti emphasised that there is an urgent need to address the humanitarian needs of the affected population. India supports the initiatives of the UN and its agencies and expressed hope that the international community will continue to respond positively to the humanitarian needs of the people of Ukraine, including through extending generous support to the Secretary General's flash appeal and the regional refugee response plan on Ukraine.
He underscored that it is important that humanitarian action is always guided by the principles of humanitarian assistance, which is humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. "These measures should not be politicized."

Tirumurti told the General Assembly that India has already sent over 90 tonnes of humanitarian supplies, including medicines and other essential relief material, to Ukraine and its neighbors as part of the nine separate tranches of humanitarian assistance delivered so far.
India is in the process of sending further supplies in the coming days. He also said that India has ensured the safe return of about 22,500 Indians from Ukraine through the Operation Ganga involving 90 flights.
"We have also assisted nationals from 18 other countries in that process. We are deeply appreciative of the facilitation rendered by the authorities of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries and ensuring their safe return."

A rival resolution was also proposed in the UNGA by South Africa Humanitarian situation emanating out of the conflict in Ukraine'. It made no mention of Russia and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties in the conflict.
Following objections by Ukraine, the assembly voted to decided whether action should be taken in the UNGA on the South African-led draft resolution. With 67 member states voting against, 50 in favour and 36 abstentions, the resolution, supported by China, was not put for vote and no action was taken on that draft. India abstained on this vote as well.
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.
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 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.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 24 2022 | 10:23 PM IST

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