United Nations, March 2 (NDTV): India abstained from a procedural vote taken in the UN Security Council to call for a rare special emergency session of the UN General Assembly on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, even as New Delhi welcomed Moscow and Kyiv’s decision to hold talks at the Belarus border.
The resolution was adopted with 11 votes in favour, paving the way for the General Assembly to meet on the crisis as soon as Monday. India, China and the UAE abstained, while Russia voted against the resolution. This will be only the 11th such emergency session of the General Assembly since 1950.
The 15-nation Security Council met on Sunday afternoon to hold the vote on the emergency special session of the 193-member General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This comes two days after the Russian veto blocked a UNSC resolution on its “aggression” against Ukraine.
The vote calling for the UNGA session was procedural so none of the five permanent members of the Security Council — China, France, Russia, the UK and the US — could exercise their vetoes.
“It is regrettable that the situation in Ukraine has worsened further since the Council last convened on this matter,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti said in the explanation of Sunday’s vote.
He underlined that “there is no other choice but to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.” “We welcome today’s announcement by both sides to hold talks at the Belarus border,” he said.
Mr Tirumurti said India continues to be deeply concerned about the safety and security of Indian nationals, including a large number of Indian students, who are still stranded in Ukraine.
“Our evacuation efforts have been adversely impacted by the complex and uncertain situation at the border crossings. It is important to maintain an uninterrupted and predictable movement of people. It is an urgent humanitarian necessity that must be immediately addressed,” he said.
“Taking into consideration the totality of the circumstances, we have decided to abstain,” he said.
President of the 76th session of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, who was to attend the 49th regular session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, cancelled his trip “due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine and potential developments in the Security Council,” for the vote.
He also met with Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya on Saturday after the veto on the draft resolution in the Security Council. Kyslytsya briefed Shahid “on the security situation in Kyiv and the potential action he would be seeking in the General Assembly.” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also cancelled his scheduled trip to Geneva for the Human Rights Council meeting “due to the aggravating situation in Ukraine.” The Security Council on Friday evening failed to adopt the US-sponsored resolution that would have deplored Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine after Moscow used its veto.
Hers is the voting pattern: