India, 12 others abstain in UNSC on vote on Russian-led draft resolution on Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, Mar 24: India, along with 12 other UN Security Council members, abstained on a resolution by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
The draft resolution by Russia was cosponsored by Syria, North Korea and Belarus. It failed to get adopted in the Council on Wednesday as it did not get the required nine yes votes to pass.
Russia and China voted in favour of the resolution while there were no countries voting against. India and the remaining Security Council members abstained.
Permanent and veto-welding Council member Russia had called for a vote in the 15-nation Security Council on its draft resolution that “demands that civilians, including humanitarian personnel and persons in vulnerable situations, including women and children are fully protected, calls for negotiated ceasefire for enabling safe, rapid, voluntary and unhindered evacuation of civilians, and underscores the need for the parties concerned to agree on humanitarian pauses to this end.”
The Russian resolution, which makes no reference to its invasion of Ukraine, calls upon all parties concerned to allow safe and unhindered passage to destinations outside of Ukraine, including to foreign nationals without discrimination, and facilitate safe and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to those in need in and around Ukraine, taking into account the particular needs of women, girls, men and boys, older persons and persons with disabilities.
While other Council members made statements after the vote on the resolution, India did not make any statement. India had previously abstained on two occasions in the Security Council and once in the General Assembly on resolutions on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted that “in a unified protest vote”, 13 members of the Security Council abstained from Russia’s farcical resolution deflecting blame for the humanitarian crisis it has created in Ukraine.
In the Explanation of Vote, Thomas-Greenfield said it really is “unconscionable” that Russia would have the audacity to put forward a resolution asking the international community to solve a humanitarian crisis that Russia alone created.
“The United States intends to abstain on this text because, to state the obvious, Russia does not care about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions, or the millions of lives and dreams the war has shattered. If they cared, they would stop fighting.
“Russia is the aggressor, the attacker, the invader – the sole party in Ukraine engaged in a campaign of brutality against the people of Ukraine – and they want us to pass a resolution that does not acknowledge their culpability,” she said.
UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward said that her country will not vote for any resolution, either in the Security Council or in the General Assembly, that does not recognise that Russia is the sole cause of this unfolding humanitarian catastrophe – and therefore key to ending it.
“Russia’s draft called for all parties to respect international humanitarian law. It ignored that Russia is committing war crimes. Russia’s draft called for the protection of civilians, including women and children. But it omitted that Russia is bombing maternity hospitals, schools and homes,” Woodward said.
The Russian resolution in the Security Council was one of the three resolutions on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine that were put up before the UN General Assembly and the Security Council Wednesday.
The UN General Assembly resumed its 11th Emergency Special Session on Ukraine Wednesday and had two resolutions for consideration before it. The 193-member General Assembly is expected to vote on the resolutions Thursday.
One UNGA resolution by Ukraine and its western allies on the ‘Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine’ demands an immediate cessation of the hostilities by Russia against Ukraine, in particular of any attacks against civilians and civilian objects. It also demands that civilians, including humanitarian personnel, journalists and persons in vulnerable situations, including women and children, be fully protected.
It demands that the parties comply with their obligation to ensure the safe and unhindered humanitarian access of humanitarian personnel as well as their means of transport, supplies and equipment to those in need in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries.
The other rival resolution proposed by South Africa ‘Humanitarian situation emanating out of the conflict in Ukraine’ makes no mention of Russia. It calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities by “all parties” in the conflict, and encourages political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means aimed at achieving lasting peace. (PTI)