You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Australia holds national day of mourning for British Queen Elizabeth II
Business Standard

Russia-Ukraine war dominates discussions with 150 mentions at UNGA meet

After two years of discourse dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, this year's UN General Assembly has a new occupant of centre stage: The war in Ukraine

Topics
Russia Ukraine Conflict | Ukraine | United Nations General Assembly

AP  |  United Nations 



UNGA
Photo: ANI

After two years of discourse dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, this year's UN General Assembly has a new occupant of centre stage: the war in .

The pleas made by leaders from around the world for peace were both an altruistic amplification of besieged Ukrainians' plight as well as born from self-interest.

As several speeches made clear, the repercussions of the Russian invasion have been felt even thousands of miles away.

It is not just the dismay that we feel at seeing such deliberate devastation of cities and towns in Europe in the year 2022. We are feeling this war directly in our lives in Africa, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said on Wednesday.

"Every bullet, every bomb, every shell that hits a target in Ukraine, hits our pockets and our economies in Africa.

The speeches that elided any direct reference to the conflict were few, but the war resonated even in the absence of its direct invocation. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the president of Kazakhstan, never let the words or Russia slip from his lips, but he made several seemingly pointed allusions.

He opened his remarks by painting a bleak picture of a world catapulted into a new, increasingly bitter period of geopolitical confrontation that's engendered the prospect of the use of nuclear weapons, and not even as a last resort.

Just hours later, Russian President Vladimir Putin who is not attending the UN General Assembly declared that he would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons to defend his country's territory.

Russia is a key ally of Kazakhstan, and the war in has left the former Soviet country in an awkward spot.

Tokayev performed a similar dance last week during Pope Francis' visit, refusing to speak directly about Ukraine while generally decrying a morbid state of affairs.

On Tuesday, Tokayev laid out three primordial principles: the sovereign equality of states, the territorial integrity of states, and peaceful coexistence between states.

These three principles are interdependent. To respect one is to respect the other two. To undermine one is to undermine the other two, he said.

The theme of territorial sovereignty resonated in other speeches, as countries who have faced infringements invoked their own traumas or cited the fate of Ukraine as a fear.

We must not be silent in Bosnia and Herzegovina either. We owe that to our vivid memories of the horrors of war and aggression," Sefik Dzaferovic, chair of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said on Wednesday.

The United Nations system was unable to prevent or stop the war in my country in the period between 1992 and 1995. Unfortunately, that happened again with Ukraine.

Russia has long been accused of trying to destabilise the Balkans anew including Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dzaferovic's turn at the rostrum came a day after Putin met with a Bosnian Serb separatist leader in Moscow.

Russian peacekeepers have been stationed in Transnistria, a breakaway region in Moldova, since the end of a separatist war in 1992.

Sandwiched between description of how the war in Ukraine our neighbour and friend has affected her country, Moldovan President Maia Sandu called for the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria.

Poland is the Ukrainian ally that has taken in the most refugees, and President Andrzej Duda made 34 references to the country in his speech on Tuesday.

We must not forget those who are suffering," Duda said. "Let us remember that six months of Russian aggression in Ukraine has brought the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.

But Duda also highlighted how Ukraine has captured the world's attention when many other momentous crises outside of Europe have not.

Were we equally resolute during the tragedies of Syria, Libya, Yemen? Did we not return to business as usual after two great tragedies of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the wars in the Horn of Africa, and while condemning the invasion of Ukraine, do we give equal weight to fighting mercenaries who seek to destabilize the Sahel and threaten many other states in Africa? he said.

On the first day alone, Ukraine drew more than 150 mentions across speeches from leaders, including the UN Secretary General.

Antonio Guterres opened the General Assembly by touting Ukraine and Russia's deal with the help of Turkey over grain shipments as an example of successful multilateral diplomacy. The war was threaded throughout his speech, as he turned to its gloomier yields.

The fighting has claimed thousands of lives. Millions have been displaced. Billions across the world are affected, he said.

In the lone video address to the General Assembly, for which he was given special dispensation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself called out the seven countries who voted against the allowance: Seven. Seven who are afraid of the video address. Seven who respond to principles with a red button. Only seven."

None of those seven had yet spoken. But even if those countries had somehow prevailed, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputov said it was incumbent on other countries to advocate for Ukraine.

The democratic world and all of us must be a voice of Ukraine. The voice that won't be silent, voice that will continue to testify about Russia's crimes in Ukraine, she said on Tuesday.

The voice that will remember, and that will act so no one is ever allowed to commit such atrocities again.

(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.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.


We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, September 22 2022. 12:39 IST

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

.