Current Affairs

Foreign Secretary Shringla Arrives In New York As UNSC, UNGA Set To Vote On Draft Resolutions On Ukraine Crisis


Mar 23, 2022, 12:08 PM | Updated 12:08 PM IST

Harsh Shringla
Harsh Shringla

United Nations, Mar 23 (PTI) Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla arrived in New York on Tuesday, a day before the UN General Assembly and the Security Council are expected to vote on draft resolutions on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Shringla will participate in the Security Council meeting on cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States on Wednesday.

“Delighted to receive Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla in New York. Foreign Secretary will participate in the UN Security Council meeting on cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti tweeted.

Shringla’s arrival in New York comes as the United Nations is set to witness a busy and crucial day Wednesday over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Following the UNSC meeting on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States, the Council is expected to vote on a draft resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine put forward by Russia.

The UN General Assembly will also resume the 11th Emergency Special Session on Ukraine and vote on a resolution put forward by Ukraine and its allies.

On previous occasions, India abstained on resolutions in the Security Council and the General Assembly on Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Moscow had last week put off a vote on its resolution and US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that Russia did so “because they knew that they didn't have support for that resolution”.

On what kind of vote the Russian resolution will get in the Security Council on Wednesday, she said 'there is no support for the resolution in the Council”.

The American envoy said Russia putting forth a humanitarian resolution on Ukraine is akin to an “arsonist calling for the neighbours to help him put out the fire that he started in one neighbour's house'.

“Russia is the aggressor here, and it is absolutely unconscionable for Russia to think that they can put forward a humanitarian resolution. What Russia needs to do is stop fighting. It needs to stop killing Ukrainians. It needs to stop attacking civilians and forcing people from their homes and creating a humanitarian crisis that is only the result of their actions in Ukraine,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters here.

The 11th Emergency Special Session of the UNGA on Ukraine will resume Wednesday morning after 22 member states, including France, the UK and the US, wrote to the President of the 193-member UN body, Abdulla Shahid, to convene the meeting.

The General Assembly, the most representative body of the United Nations, had on February 28 convened the rare emergency session on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Before the end of the session on March 2, the General Assembly had voted to reaffirm its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders and deplored in the strongest terms Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

India, along with 34 other nations, had abstained on the resolution, which was adopted with 141 votes in favour and five member states voting against.

The UNGA will again vote on a draft resolution titled ‘Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine’ by Ukraine and co-sponsored by more than 70 states. South Africa too has put forward a rival resolution for the UNGA that makes no mention of Russia.

When asked about the three draft resolutions on Ukraine - one by Russia in the UNSC and the other two by Ukraine and South Africa in the UNGA, Thomas-Greenfield said she will “support the draft that the Ukrainians and the work with the French and the Mexican delegations and the rest of us to put on the table'.

'It is a strong humanitarian resolution. It does identify the cause of the humanitarian crisis. Russia is the cause of the humanitarian crisis. The other two resolutions, one put forth by Russia and the other put forth by South Africa, do not identify the cause of the crisis,” she said.

Thomas-Greenfield said the US is working with members of the General Assembly and with the South Africans “to try to address any concerns that they may have and address those concerns in the resolution that Ukraine supports that was already on the table. So, we're still hoping to get the same numbers that isolated Russia the last time around.”

Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy told reporters that Russia will go ahead for a vote in the Security Council on its draft resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine Wednesday.

“We proposed a UNSC draft resolution that will be voted on tomorrow. It will be a good chance to see if our Western colleagues really care about the things that they promote in their statements, because they are all in our resolution. We’ll see whether they are serious about it or whether it is just a false flag for them,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

When asked about western nations making it clear they will not support Moscow’s draft resolution in the Council and that it would fail as well as about the resolutions in the UNGA, Polyanskiy said if Western nations do not support Moscow’s draft, “this will be a reflection of their hypocrisy, because speaking is one thing, and taking a decision is another thing'.

“Everyone understands that in order to help humanitarian agencies, the Security Council has to say its position and give them some instructions. That’s what we propose, without any politicizing, as in any other humanitarian resolution that the Security Council has ever adopted. We do not understand why people would say one thing, but act differently.

“As for the two humanitarian resolutions, frankly speaking, we do not know what is the added value of humanitarian resolutions by the General Assembly. We do not want them, especially the Western draft, to turn into another anti-Russian biased document. We do not think we need such documents. So we will define our position on these premises,” he said.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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