UN passes resolution calling for Russian withdrawal from Ukraine

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday approved a non-binding resolution calling for an end to Russia’s hostilities in Ukraine and demanding the withdrawal of its forces, sending a powerful message on the eve of the first anniversary of the invasion.

The resolution, drafted by Ukraine in consultation with its allies, was approved with 141 votes in favor to seven against, with 32 abstentions.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the vote was further proof that not only the West supports his country.

“This vote challenges the argument that the global south does not support Ukraine,” Kuleba said. “Many countries representing Latin America, Africa, Asia voted in favor.”

The General Assembly has become the most important body of the United Nations to deal with the issue of Ukraine because the Security Council, which is in charge of maintaining international peace and security, is paralyzed due to the veto power of Russia. The resolutions of the General Assembly, unlike those of the Security Council, are not binding but serve as a barometer of world opinion.

Voted against

The seven countries that voted against were Belarus, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, North Korea, Eritrea and Mali, which has developed close military ties with Russia.

The vote in favor was slightly less than the highest total of the five previous resolutions passed by the 193-member world body since Russian troops crossed its neighbor’s border on February 24, 2022. The highest vote was to an October resolution in which 143 countries voted against Russia’s illegal annexations.

Foreign ministers and diplomats from more than 75 countries addressed the assembly during two days of debates, many calling for support for a resolution upholding Ukraine’s territorial integrity, a basic principle of the United Nations Charter to the that all countries must adhere once they join the world body.

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