A total of 140 countries voted Thursday at the UN General Assembly on a resolution demanding Russia “an immediate cessation of the hostilities by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, in particular of any attacks against civilians and civilian objects.”
Only five countries voted against, while 38 abstained.
This result shows that the international community’s rejection of Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian territory is almost similar to that shown on March 2, when another resolution “deploring” Russian aggression and calling for its immediate cessation was adopted with 141 votes in favor.
There was a second resolution that did not mention Russia’s role in the war, but that argued humanitarian issues should be “depoliticized.” The delegates, however, (by a majority of 67 votes to 50) refused to bring it to the plenary for consideration.
South Africa defended its resolution — which had been supported by Russia and was to be co-sponsored by China — until the last moment, arguing that a greater international consensus was desirable.
In the interventions since yesterday, Western countries (namely the U.S., the European Union, and its allies) said that a resolution that does not name the aggressor is inadmissible.
Thus, the Canadian delegate said that voting for a humanitarian resolution on Ukraine was like “talking about Moby Dick without using the word ‘whale’,” while the Austrian delegate said that even for traditionally neutral countries like his own neutrality does not mean neutrality of values between the aggressor and the victim.
Today’s session at the assembly is the second diplomatic defeat suffered by Russia, which on Wednesday saw another “humanitarian resolution” submitted by its diplomats at the Security Council rejected as it was supported only by China, while the other thirteen Council members abstained.