UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly accredited a decision Monday calling for Russia to be held accountable for violating worldwide legislation by invading Ukraine, together with by paying reparations for widespread harm to the nation and for Ukrainians killed and injured in the course of the conflict.
The vote within the 193-member world physique was 94-14 with 73 abstentions. It was near the bottom degree of assist obtained by any of the 5 Ukraine-related resolutions adopted by the General Assembly since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of its smaller neighbor.
The decision acknowledges the necessity to set up “an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury’” arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” in opposition to Ukraine.
It recommends that the meeting’s member nations, in cooperation with Ukraine, create “an international register” to doc claims and data on harm, loss or harm to Ukrainians and the federal government brought on by Russia.
Earlier than the vote, Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya instructed the meeting that “Russia has tried its best to destroy Ukraine ― in a very literal sense.”
He cited Russia’s bombing and shelling of cities and villages, “targeting everything from plants and factories to residential buildings, schools, hospitals and kindergartens” in addition to roads, bridges, railways and virtually half of Ukraine’s energy grid and utilities within the final month alone. He additionally cited accounts of atrocities dedicated by Russians in territory it occupied, together with homicide, rape, torture, pressured deportations and looting.
“Ukraine will have the daunting task of rebuilding the country and recovering from this war,” Kyslytsya mentioned. “But that recovery will never be complete without a sense of justice for the victims of the Russian war.”
In establishing a mechanism to doc claims, he mentioned, “Ukraine is committed to a transparent, impartial and objective process that will be managed and overseen by the international community in order to avoid even the slightest perception of bias.”
“It is time to hold Russia accountable,” Kyslytsya mentioned, calling the decision “a signal of hope for justice.”
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia urged meeting members to vote in opposition to the decision, calling it “an attempt to legalize something that from the view of existing international law cannot be legalized.” It’s “legally null and void,” he mentioned.
Nebenzia accused the West of “doing everything it can to provide a veneer of legitimacy” to start out spending frozen ― or truly “stolen Russian assets amounting to billions of dollars.” And he accused the West of searching for a General Assembly determination “as a screen to hide this open robbery” whose “beneficiaries will end up being the Western military corporations.”
He warned that approval of the decision “can only increase tension and instability in the entire world,” and mentioned supporters of the decision “will become implicated in illegal expropriation of sovereign assets of a third country.”
Sixteen international locations and the Palestinians echoed Russia, saying in a joint assertion that the decision didn’t have “sufficient legal basis.”
Its signatories, together with China, Iran, Angola and Venezuela, mentioned international locations affected by international interference, colonialism, slavery, oppression, unilateral sanctions “and other internationally wrongful acts, also deserve the right for remedy, reparation and justice, which should be addressed through sound legal processes.”
The Palestinians despatched a letter to all international locations late Monday saying they didn’t be part of the assertion.
Canada’s U.N. Ambassador Robert Rae shot again that the decision makes no point out of forcibly seizing property or destroying the powers of sovereign states, and mentioned Russia is barely making the allegations as a result of it doesn’t wish to admit the decision’s name for a world register to doc proof of harm, loss and harm.
“The assembly is not being asked to perform a function as a judge or jury,” he mentioned. And Russian claims that “this is some systematic, Western plot to steal the assets of sovereign states ― It’s just complete balderdash. It’s nonsense, and we have to have the courage to say it.”
Russia’s veto energy within the 15-member Safety Council has blocked the U.N.’s strongest physique from taking any motion since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion. However there aren’t any vetoes within the General Assembly, which beforehand adopted 4 resolutions criticizing Russia’s invasion.
In contrast to Safety Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions aren’t legally binding, however they do mirror world opinion and have demonstrated widespread opposition to Russia’s navy motion.
The decision adopted Monday was sponsored by Canada, Guatemala, Netherlands and Ukraine and co-sponsored by dozens of others.
It reaffirms the General Assembly’s dedication to Ukraine’s “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity” and reiterates its demand for Russia to right away “cease its use of force against Ukraine” and withdraw all its forces from Ukrainian territory.
It additionally expresses “grave concern at the loss of life, civilian displacement, destruction of infrastructure and natural resources, loss of public and private property, and economic calamity caused by the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine.”
The decision remembers that Article 14 of the U.N. Constitution authorizes the General Assembly to “recommend measures for the peaceful adjustment of any situation … which it deems likely to impair the general welfare of friendly relations among nations” together with violations of the Constitution.
Quickly after Russia’s invasion, the General Assembly adopted its first decision on March 2 demanding a direct Russian cease-fire, withdrawal of all its troops and safety for all civilians by a vote of 141-5 with 35 abstentions.
On March 24, the meeting voted 140-5 with 38 abstentions on a decision blaming Russia for Ukraine’s humanitarian disaster and urging a direct cease-fire and safety for tens of millions of civilians and the properties, faculties and hospitals essential to their survival.
Monday’s vote was near the bottom vote for a Ukraine decision: The meeting voted 93-24 with 58 abstentions on April 7 to droop Russia from the U.N.’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council over allegations Russian troopers in Ukraine engaged in rights violations that america and Ukraine have known as conflict crimes.
The meeting voted overwhelmingly by its highest margin ― 143-5 with 35 abstentions ― on Oct. 12 to sentence Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of 4 Ukrainian areas and demand its instant reversal.