Pakistan abstains as UNGA adopts resolution on Russia

With Pakistan abstaining, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted to adopt a western resolution that calls for Russia to be held accountable for violating international law by invading Ukraine, including by paying reparations.

The vote in the 193-member Assembly was 94 in favour to 14 against, with 73 abstaining.

The resolution, cosponsored by 57 countries, recogniaes the need to establish “an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury” arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” against Ukraine.

It recommended that the member states, in cooperation with Ukraine, create “an international register” to document claims and information on damage, loss or injury to Ukrainians and the government caused by Russia.

Explaining Pakistan’s abstention, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Aamir Khan told APP that it would be “unprecedented” to establish the proposed mechanism that is neither managed by nor accountable to any of the UN principal organs.

Noting that many of the co-sponsors of the draft resolution had consistently opposed any discussion on such an international mechanism for seeking reparations for slavery and colonialism, the Pakistani envoy said that double standards in application of international law were counter productive.

Russia’s veto in the Security Council had blocked the 15-member body from taking any action since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. But there are no vetoes in the General Assembly, which already has adopted four resolutions criticising Russia’s actions.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, but they do reflect and influence world opinion.

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