Two meetings of opposite sign, and no conclusive result, have demonstrated this Wednesday the paralysis of the UN when it comes to adopting measures that contribute to alleviating the suffering of the population of Ukraine when the first month of the war is completed. In the morning, an extraordinary convocation of the General Assembly has debated a proposal for a “humanitarian resolution” -non-executive as it is the plenary-, which was branded as anti-Russian by the representative of the Kremlin, Vasili Nebenzia. The Russian ambassador presented an alternative draft to the Security Council in the afternoon. The highest forum of the organization does have executive power, although it is neutralized in practice by the right of veto of its five permanent members, including Russia and the United States.
The diplomatic balancing act at the United Nations headquarters in New York continues to exhaustion as a reflection of interests that are not only opposed, but also irreconcilable. Ambassador Nebenzia’s proposal for a “humanitarian resolution” omitted that the human crisis developing in Ukraine is due to the Russian invasion, and avoided defining who is the aggressor and who is attacked. The text, yes, expressed “its serious concern about the reports of civilian victims, including children, in and around Ukraine” that the information on the ground attributes mostly to Russian forces, the same day that the US accused Moscow of war crimes in the neighboring country.
“We strongly condemn targeted attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including indiscriminate shelling and the placement of military objects and equipment in densely populated areas and close to civilian objects, as well as the use of such objects for military purposes, [fines] that endanger the lives of the civilian population in violation of international humanitarian law”, the text of the resolution affected, which has only achieved two favorable votes (Russia and China) against 13 abstentions, including that of the United States. ” This maneuver does not fool anyone”, said the representative of France in the Council. The ambassador of the Dominican Republic said he felt “completely confused” by the existence of two resolution proposals.
The Kremlin’s initiative responds to the one promoted ten days ago by France and Mexico, and supported by most Western countries, to guarantee access to humanitarian aid for the population affected by the war. It was transferred to the plenary session of the Assembly, in an extraordinary session, to circumvent Russia’s veto if it had been elevated to the Security Council. This was also done with a resolution of condemnation – relative, since the term “condemn” was finally replaced by “deplore” to convince more signatories – adopted by a large majority in another urgent session of the Assembly. With the one held this Wednesday morning, there are 12 extraordinary calls for the plenary session of the organization in its 70-year history; the last two, in just 20 days.
To finish corroborating the practical ineffectiveness of the UN in relation to the conflict in Ukraine, a third resolution proposal was added this morning to the call for the Assembly, presented by South Africa and which clarified the criticism of Russia. Ambassador Nebenzia described her as close to Moscow’s interests. While some countries have shown new signs of ambiguity and ambivalence, such as India, Brazil and Thailand, others, such as Australia, Croatia, Japan or Georgia – which are well aware of what a Russian invasion means, that of 2008 – have warned that the world order is crumbling because of the war in Ukraine. But not even the most catastrophic or alarmist scenario has served as a stimulus to adopt a measure, whatever it may be, to get the UN out of its morass before Ukraine.
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