UN General Assembly calls for Russian reparations to Ukraine

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The UN General Assembly on Monday approved a resolution calling on Russia to be held accountable for violating international law by invading Ukraine, including making reparations for the widespread damage to the country’s country and for the Ukrainians killed and wounded during the war.

The vote in the 193-member world organization was 94 to 14 with 73 abstentions. It was close to the lowest level of support received by any of five Ukraine-related resolutions passed by the General Assembly since Russia’s February 24 invasion of its smaller neighbour.

The resolution recognizes the need to establish “an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury” resulting from Russia’s “unlawful acts” against Ukraine.

It recommends that members of the assembly, in cooperation with Ukraine, create “an international register” to document claims and information about damage, loss or injury to Ukrainians and the government caused by Russia.

Before the vote, Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the assembly that “Russia has done its best to destroy Ukraine — in a very literal sense.”

He cited Russia’s bombing and shelling of cities and towns, “targeting everything from factories and factories to residential buildings, schools, hospitals and kindergartens”, as well as roads, bridges, railways and nearly half of the country’s power grid and utilities. Ukraine alone in the past month. . He also cited accounts of atrocities committed by Russians in occupied territory, including murder, rape, torture, forced deportations and looting.

“Ukraine will have the daunting task of rebuilding and recovering from this war,” Kyslytsya said. “But that recovery will never be complete without a sense of justice for the victims of the Russian war.”

In establishing a mechanism to document claims, he said: “Ukraine is committed to a transparent, impartial and objective process that will be administered and monitored by the international community to avoid even the slightest perception of bias.”

“It’s time to hold Russia accountable,” said Kyslytsya, who called the resolution “a signal of hope for justice.”

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia urged members of the assembly to vote against the resolution, calling it “an attempt to legalize something that cannot be legalized from the point of view of existing international law.” It is “legally void,” he said.

Nebenzia accused the West of “doing everything it can to provide a veneer of legitimacy” starting with frozen — or rather, “stolen Russian assets worth billions of dollars.” And he accused the West of seeking a resolution of the General Assembly “as a screen to hide this open robbery” whose “beneficiaries will ultimately be the Western military companies.”

He warned that passing the resolution “can only exacerbate tension and instability around the world,” and said supporters of the resolution “will become involved in illegal expropriation of sovereign assets of a third country.”

Sixteen countries and the Palestinians echoed Russia saying in a joint statement that the resolution lacked “sufficient legal basis”.

The signatories, including China, Iran, Angola and Venezuela, said that countries suffering from foreign interference, colonialism, slavery, oppression, unilateral sanctions “and other internationally wrongful acts also deserve the right to redress, redress and justice, which must be addressed through proper legal processes.”

The Palestinians sent a letter to all countries late Monday saying they would not join the statement.

Canada’s UN Ambassador Robert Rae responded that the resolution makes no mention of forcibly seizing assets or destroying the powers of sovereign states, saying that Russia is only making the allegations because it ignores the resolution’s call for a international register to document documents. proof of damage, loss and injury.

“The assembly is not asked to perform any function as judge or jury,” he said. And Rus claims that “this is some systematic Western plot to steal the assets of sovereign states — it’s just complete nonsense. It is nonsense, and we must have the courage to say it.”

Russia’s veto power on the 15-member Security Council has blocked the UN’s most powerful body from taking any action since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion. But there are no vetoes in the General Assembly, which previously passed four resolutions criticizing the Russian invasion.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, but they do reflect world opinion and have shown widespread opposition to Russia’s military action.

The resolution passed Monday was sponsored by Canada, Guatemala, the Netherlands and Ukraine and was co-sponsored by dozens of others.

He reaffirms the General Assembly’s commitment to Ukraine’s “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity” and reiterates its demand for Russia to immediately “cease the use of force against Ukraine” and withdraw all its troops from Ukrainian territory.

It also expresses “serious concern about the loss of life, displacement of civilians, destruction of infrastructure and natural resources, loss of public and private property and economic disaster caused by the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine.”

The resolution recalls that Article 14 of the UN Charter empowers the General Assembly to “recommend measures for the peaceful adjustment of any situation … likely to harm the common good of friendly relations between nations”, including violations of the charter.

Shortly after the Russian invasion, the General Assembly passed its first resolution on March 2 demanding an immediate Russian ceasefire, withdrawal of all its troops and protection of all civilians, by a vote of 141 to 5 with 35 abstentions.

On March 24, the assembly voted 140 to 5 with 38 abstentions on a resolution blaming Russia for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and calling for an immediate ceasefire and protection of millions of civilians and the homes, schools and hospitals critical to their survival.

Monday’s vote was close to the lowest vote for a resolution on Ukraine: the assembly voted 93 to 24 with 58 abstentions on April 7 to suspend Russia from the UN’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council over allegations that Russian soldiers are involved in Ukraine were in rights violations that the United States and Ukraine have called war crimes.

The assembly voted overwhelmingly on October 12 — 143 to 5 with 35 abstentions — to condemn Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of four Ukrainian regions and demand its immediate reversal.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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