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UN meets as Ukraine, allies seek votes for ‘peace’ resolution

UNITED NATIONS (UNITED STATES) – Ukraine’s first lady called for justice for her country on Wednesday as the UN General Assembly prepared for a meeting to consider a resolution calling for a “just and lasting peace” from which Kyiv hopes the world community will show its support.

“I think you will agree that regardless of our country or our nationality, we have the right not to be killed in our own homes,” Zelenska said at a special meeting at the United Nations two days before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion .

“However, Ukrainians are killed year-round in front of the whole world in their own towns, villages, homes, hospitals and theaters,” she told a panel of UN diplomats via video.

“Therefore we call on the United Nations to set up a special tribunal for the crimes of Russian aggression,” she said.

The UN General Assembly meets in New York on Wednesday afternoon to consider a draft resolution supported by around 60 countries calling for a just peace in Ukraine.

The text stresses “the need to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine as soon as possible, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter”.

Like previous resolutions, it reaffirms the “UN commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine” and calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

The text, which unlike a Security Council resolution would not create binding law, calls on Russia to “immediately, fully and unconditionally withdraw all armed forces from the territory of Ukraine.”

A vote at the end of the debate is expected on Thursday at the earliest.

Kiev is hoping to garner the support of at least as many nations as it did in October, when 143 countries voted in favor of a resolution condemning Russia’s annexation of several Ukrainian territories.

To this end, according to diplomatic sources, Ukraine has stopped pushing for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s 10-point peace plan to be included in the resolution.

“I think we’ve written a text that’s really trying to rally the international community, trying to be as united and as positive as possible,” said a European diplomat.

A year after invading Ukraine, it will also send a message to Russia that “it cannot achieve its goals by force,” added the diplomat, hoping that if Moscow “feels isolated, the pressure on a certain Point will be too strong to do it.” be resisted.”

– ‘Symbolic’ –

Days of debate on the resolution, which will see a host of ministers, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, visit New York, is scheduled to begin at 15:00 local time (2000 GMT) on Wednesday.

In an anti-Western speech reminiscent of the Cold War, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed on Tuesday to “systematically” continue his offensive in Ukraine.

While some countries in the Global South are expressing fatigue at the North’s over-focus on the conflict, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield argued that supporting peace in Ukraine “is not in any way about to choose between the United States and Russia”, but “to defend the Charter”. “ the UN.

China, too, is increasingly concerned that the conflict could spiral out of control and has indicated it will soon come up with a proposal to find a “political solution” to the war.

China and others, notably India, have abstained from the series of UN votes on Ukraine.

“If Kiev does not talk about peace, there is a risk that the BRICS countries will start saying that Ukraine is the real obstacle to peace,” said Richard Gowan, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, referring to Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

“That’s why the US and the EU were keen to include references to a cessation of hostilities in this week’s text,” he told AFP.

This “cessation of hostilities” is accompanied by a condition that Russia withdraw its troops, as a simple truce could be just a pause allowing Russia to regroup, diplomats noted.

If the resolution is primarily “symbolic,” Gowan said, it will have the merit of underscoring Russia’s isolation and “undermining Putin’s claim to lead a grand anti-Western coalition.”

The General Assembly last year voted on three resolutions opposing the Russian invasion, each receiving between 140 and 143 votes in favour.

Five countries – Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea – have systematically opposed it, while fewer than 40 others abstained.

A fourth resolution in April aimed to bar Russia from the UN Human Rights Council and, while successful, received less support.

Only 93 votes in favour, 24 against and 58 abstentions.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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