United Nations (AP) – France and Mexico are pressuring UN members to refer to the Russian offensive in a resolution on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine. But South Africa has pitched itself against it, saying that including political issues could hinder consensus on how to help the civilian population.
The resolution, jointly drafted by France and Mexico, is to be voted on at the UN General Assembly this week. The resolution reiterates the world body’s demand on March 2 for Russia to end its military offensive in Ukraine and withdraw all its troops. It also calls for the safety of all citizens and the necessary infrastructure for their survival.
The draft, which was accessed by the Associated Press on Monday, says the “serious humanitarian consequences” of Russian aggression in Ukraine are far greater than the international community has seen in Europe in several decades. Condemns air and artillery attacks by the Russian military and the siege of densely populated cities, especially the port of Mariupol in southern Ukraine.
A draft resolution drafted by South Africa was circulated the same Monday and the AP accessed the document, which makes no mention of Russia. Instead, it calls for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” as the first step to alleviate the humanitarian situation, refers to “all parties” and refers to “political negotiations, negotiations, mediation” aimed at achieving lasting peace. and encourages other peaceful means.
The South African Resolution resolution will “recognize the autonomy of humanitarian purposes with respect to political, economic, military or other purposes that either side may have in areas where humanitarian action is applied”. It would also require infrastructure necessary for the protection and survival of civilians, and “critical civilian infrastructure to facilitate the delivery of essential services in armed conflict”.
Assembly spokeswoman Paulina Kubiak said on Monday that the General Assembly is to meet and vote on Wednesday on the France-Mexico resolution at the request of Ukraine.
France and Mexico decided to bring the humanitarian resolution to the General Assembly after negotiating a similar resolution, which referred to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for two weeks at the Security Council, where Russia clarified that it would take this measure. Will veto
Unlike the Security Council, there is no veto in the General Assembly. But resolutions are not binding in an assembly made up of 193 countries, as are those of the Security Council, although they reflect the opinion of the international community.
Supporters of the Franco-Mexican resolution are expected to win a vote similar to the resolution of the General Assembly of March 2, which called for an immediate cessation of Russian military action and the withdrawal of all its troops. That vote was 141–5, with 35 abstentions, and was described by its supporters as an example of Russia’s secession.
South Africa was one of 35 countries that refrained from voting on the resolution.
Explaining the context of its proposal on Monday, South Africa said the measure should express concern about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and called on all parties to abide by international humanitarian law, which protects civilians and civilian infrastructure. , such as prohibits attacks on hospitals, schools and. water feature. He also said that “political issues that may lead member states not to agree on a text should be addressed elsewhere.”
France and Mexico’s resolution begins by reiterating the first words of the Charter of the United Nations and would reaffirm the General Assembly’s determination to “protect subsequent generations from the scourge of war.”
The Charter will also reiterate the obligations that all member states of the United Nations refrain from intimidation or the use of force against “the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”.
Both Mexico and France, as well as South Africa’s resolutions, would reaffirm the assembly’s commitment to “the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.