St Vincent and the Grenadines was among more than 140 Member States of the United Nations that voted in favour of a resolution that deplores Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and demands the withdrawal of troops and an end to the fighting.
“War does not manage grievances. St Vincent and the Grenadines, therefore calls for an immediate cease fire to avert further bloodshed, human suffering and a global catastrophe and to engage in peaceful dialogue to find the solution to this war post haste. Today, we must unite for peace,” Inga, Rhonda King, this country’s permanent representative to the UN said in an explanation of the nation’s vote on the draft resolution before the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, March 2.
The resolution was successfully adopted, with 141 of the UN’s 193 Member States voting in its favour during this week’s special emergency session — the 11th ever to be held in the UN’s history since being formeSVG among 141 UN Member States to vote for end to ward more than seven decades ago.
Five states: Russia, Belarus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea and the Syrian Arab Republic voted against the resolution while 35 countries abstained from voting.
The resolution said that the United Nations “deplores in the strongest terms the agression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.” It “demanded that the Russian Federation immediately ceases its use of force against Ukraine,” and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces”.
King was among four country representatives to deliver statements before the actual voting on the resolution, to explain the way in which their respective state had chosen to cast its vote.
Other UN member states were also given the opportunity to explain their vote, following the casting of votes at Wednesday’s meeting on the non-binding resolution.
SVG’s permanent representative said the country’s vote is “in accordance with our steadfast commitment to upholding the purposes and principles of the United Nations charter, which form the core of multilateralism and gave birth to our United Nations 76 years ago”.
King said these principles underscore respect for sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of states and enjoin member states to refrain from the threat or the use of force in the conduct of their international relations.
She also noted that this country’s support for the resolution is rooted in its conviction that the strict adherence of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law and the principles of peace, dialogue and compromise for the preservation of humanity, is not optional.
“As a Small Island Developing State, full compliance with the bedrock principles of international law remains an existential issue. We take the floor again Mr President, to repeat our call for these principles to be applied consistently and upheld as universal truths instead of selective, uneven and unpredictable tools to further great power and ambition anywhere and by anyone,” she said.
The ambassador noted that, “naked hypocrisy, double standards and cynical misapplication of international law” has been witnessed both historically and in recent times — all of which have been condemned by St Vincent and the Grenadines.
And King asked that “our august assembly should apply the fundamental principles of our charter impartially, irrespective of the size, economic and military power of the principals involved”, adding that the world cannot afford another conflict in the midst of all the existing global challenges, including climate change and the COVID19 pandemic.