New Delhi: It took nearly 70 days for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to issue a first unanimously adopted statement on the Ukraine crisis.
The statement adopted by ‘the consensus’, including Russia, does not mention “war”, “conflict”, or “invasion” and describes the new century’s much talked about and unfortunate conflict as a “dispute”. Norway and Mexico drafted the statement.
Significantly, this statement comes as Russian forces renewed their attacks across Ukraine ahead of the Victory Day festivities in Moscow on Monday, May 9.
“The Security Council expresses deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine….The Security Council recalls that all Member States have undertaken, under the Charter of
the United Nations, the obligation to settle their international disputes by peaceful means,” it said.
“The Security Council expresses strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-General in the search for a peaceful solution,” reads the statement, which also requests the UN Secretary-General to brief the UNSC again “in due course”.
India, in its latest statement, made an important formulation. It said that humanitarian aid to Ukraine should not be subject to food export restrictions. Notably, while the World Food Programme’s aid is exempt from taxes, aid by individual countries, including India, is being subjected to taxes.
In his statement on Friday, India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, T S Tirumurti, said, “India remains on the side of peace and therefore believes that there will be no winning side in this conflict, and while those impacted by this conflict will continue to suffer, diplomacy will be a lasting casualty.”
India’s stand has been consistent with regard to Diplomacy and Democracy to end the crisis.
Russia, which has veto power in the UNSC, has previously blocked all past attempts to adopt a ‘presidential statement’ from the UNSC, which requires unanimity.
“Today, for the first time, the Security Council spoke with one voice for peace in Ukraine. As I have often said, the world must come together to silence the guns and uphold the values of the @UN Charter,” remarked UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the new statement.
The four-line statement did not mention the US or the western countries’ description of events in Ukraine — as war, invasion, or even conflict. But it did not mention the oft-used Russian phrase – “special military operation” as well.
The language of the resolution is in sharp contrast to earlier ones. On March 24, the UN body approved a resolution by 140-5, and 38 abstentions had blamed Russia for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Earlier in the first week of March, within days of the Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine, the UN General Assembly had voted 141-5 with 35 abstentions in favour of a resolution demanding an immediate Russian cease-fire,
withdrawal of all its forces and protection for all civilians.