On the eve of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UN General Assembly on Thursday demanded an “immediate” withdrawal of Russian troops, calling for a “just and lasting” peace.
The non-binding resolution received 141 votes for, 7 against (Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea, Mali, Nicaragua, Eritrea) and 32 countries abstained, including China and India, out of the 193 member states of the United Nations. Similar support in October, when 143 countries condemned the annexations of several Ukrainian territories by Russia, five voting against.
An attachment to the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine
Since Wednesday, representatives of dozens of countries have marched to the UN rostrum in support of Ukraine, while Kyiv has urged members of the international community to choose between “good and evil”.
The adopted resolution reaffirms the “commitment” to the “territorial integrity of Ukraine” and “demands” that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces from Ukrainian territory within internationally recognized borders of the country”, a reference to the territories annexed by Russia.
It also calls for a “cessation of hostilities” and “stresses the need to achieve, as soon as possible, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter”.
For a year, while Russia has been using its right of veto to prevent any action in the Security Council on Ukraine, the General Assembly has taken over on this issue. On Wednesday at the opening of this special session, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres castigated him “the affront to our collective conscience” represented by the invasion of Ukraine. “The possible consequences of the escalation of the conflict are a clear danger and already there,” he warned, referring in particular to nuclear risks.