India abstained in the U.N. General Assembly on February 23 on a resolution that underscored the need to reach as soon as possible a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace” in Ukraine in line with the principles of the U.N. Charter.
The 193-member General Assembly adopted the draft resolution, put forward by Ukraine and its supporters, titled Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.
The resolution, which got 141 votes in favour and seven against, “underscores the need to reach, as soon as possible, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in line with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” India was among the 32 countries that abstained.
The resolution called upon member states and international organisations to redouble support for diplomatic efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine, consistent with the Charter.
It reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, extending to its territorial waters and reiterated its demand that Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, and calls for a cessation of hostilities.
In the year since Russia’s February 24, 2022 invasion of Ukraine, several U.N. resolutions — in the General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council, have condemned the invasion and underlined the commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
India has abstained on the U.N. resolutions on Ukraine and consistently underlined the need to respect the U.N. Charter, international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.
New Delhi has also urged that all efforts be made for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an urgent return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy.
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In September 2022, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in his address to the high-level U.N. General Assembly session that in this conflict, India is on the side of peace and dialogue and diplomacy.
“As the Ukraine conflict continues to rage, we are often asked whose side are we on. And our answer, each time, is straight and honest. India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there. We are on the side that respects the UN Charter and its founding principles. We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out,” Jaishankar had said, adding that it is in the collective interest to work constructively, both within the United Nations and outside, in finding an early resolution to this conflict.
India has also consistently underlined that in the conflict, the entire global South has suffered “substantial collateral damage” and developing countries are facing the brunt of the conflict’s consequences on food, fuel and fertiliser supplies.
Jaishankar had said that India is on the side of those that are “struggling to make ends meet, even as they stare at the escalating costs of food, of fuel and fertilisers.” The UNGA resolution called for an immediate cessation of the attacks on the critical infrastructure of Ukraine and any deliberate attacks on civilian objects, including those that are residences, schools and hospitals.
It urged all member states to cooperate in the spirit of solidarity to address the global impacts of the war on food security, energy, finance, the environment and nuclear security and safety and underscored that arrangements for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine should take into account these factors.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the emergency special session of the General Assembly that resumed on February 22 that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “an affront to our collective conscience” and said it is “high time” to step back from the brink.
“The one-year mark of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stands as a grim milestone — for the people of Ukraine and for the international community. That invasion is an affront to our collective conscience. It is a violation of the United Nations Charter and international law,” Mr. Guterres said adding that the invasion is having dramatic humanitarian and human rights consequences.
In a strong message, Mr. Guterres said the war is fanning regional instability and fuelling global tensions and divisions while diverting attention and resources from other crises and pressing global issues. “Meanwhile, we have heard implicit threats to use nuclear weapons. The so-called tactical use of nuclear weapons is utterly unacceptable. It is high time to step back from the brink,” he said.