Eleventh emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eleventh emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly
← 10th ongoing since 28 February 2022 12th →
UN General Assembly hall.jpg
General Assembly Hall (2006)
Venue(s)Headquarters of the United Nations
CitiesNew York City, New York, U.S.
ParticipantsUnited Nations Member States
PresidentAbdulla Shahid
Websiteun.org/en/ga/sessions/emergency11th

The eleventh emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on 28 February 2022 at United Nations headquarters.[1] It addresses the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Maldivian politician Abdulla Shahid served as President of the body during this time.

The session was temporarily adjourned on 2 March following the adoption of Resolution ES-11/1, which deplored the invasion and demanded a full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.[2] It reconvened on 23 and 24 March to adopt Resolution ES-11/2, which reiterated the exhortations made in Resolution ES-11/1 and called for the full protection of civilians, including humanitarian personnel, journalists and vulnerable persons, and again on 7 April to adopt Resolution ES-11/3, which suspended Russia's membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council.[3]

Background[edit]

An emergency special session[4] is an unscheduled meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to make urgent, but non-binding decisions or recommendations regarding a particular issue. Emergency special sessions are rare, having been convened only eleven times in the history of the United Nations.[5]

The mechanism of the emergency special session[4] was created in 1950 by the General Assembly's adoption of its "Uniting for Peace" resolution, which made the necessary changes to the Assembly's Rules of Procedure.[6] The resolution likewise declared that:

... if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security. If not in session at the time, the General Assembly may meet in emergency special session within twenty-four hours of the request therefor. Such emergency special session shall be called if requested by the Security Council on the vote of any seven members, or by a majority of the Members of the United Nations...

These conditions were deemed to have been met following the Russian Federation's use of its veto power within the United Nations Security Council on 25 February to defeat draft resolution S/2022/155 deploring the invasion and calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops.[7][8][9]

Convocation[edit]

At the UN Security Council, Albania co-sponsored a resolution with the US for an emergency General Assembly session to be held regarding the invasion of Ukraine.[10][11] On 27 February 2022, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2623 (2022), calling for an emergency special session to examine the matter of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[12] Eleven members of the Security Council voted in favour, with Russia voting against and China, India, and the United Arab Emirates abstaining. The resolution was passed despite Russia's negative vote because permanent members of the Security Council do not have veto power over procedural matters, such as a vote to convene an emergency special session.[1][9]

Prior to Resolution 2623, the Uniting for Peace resolution had been invoked to call emergency sessions of the General Assembly on 12 occasions: seven times by the Security Council and five times by the General Assembly.

Voting on Resolution 2623
In favour (11) Against (1) Abstentions (3)
Albania, Brazil, France, Gabon, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, United Kingdom, United States Russian Federation China, India, United Arab Emirates
Result: Passed
Permanent members of the Security Council are shown in bold.
Source: United Nations Meetings Coverage and Press Releases: SC/14809

Proceedings[edit]

Resolution ES-11/1 vote
  In favour: 141
  Against: 5
  Abstained: 35
  Absent: 12
  Non-member

28 February – 2 March[edit]

At the start of the special session on 28 February 2022, General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid of the Republic of Maldives called for the delegations to observe a minute's silence.[13]

Russia defended its military operation in Ukraine, and blamed the violence on the Ukrainian government.[14] Ukraine's representative to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, condemned Russia's acts as "war crimes" and called Putin's decision to increase the nuclear readiness "madness". He warned, "If Ukraine does not survive, international peace will not survive. If Ukraine does not survive, the United Nations will not survive. ... If Ukraine does not survive, we cannot be surprised if democracy fails."[15]

Around a hundred delegations lodged requests to address the assembly.[13] On 2 March, the meeting adopted – by a vote of 141 to 5, with 35 abstentions[16] – a non-binding resolution reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine, deploring Russia's aggression and Belarus's involvement in it, and demanding the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian military forces from the territory of Ukraine.[2] It also resolved to temporarily adjourn the emergency special session, authorizing the General Assembly President to resume its meetings upon request from member states.[17]

Voting on Resolution ES-11/1
Vote Tally States Percent of votes Percent of members
In favour 141 Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia 96.58% 73.06%
Against 5 Belarus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Russian Federation, Syria 3.42% 2.59%
Abstain 35 Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe 18.13%
Absent 12 Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela[a] 6.18%
Total 193 100% 100%
Source: A/RES/ES-11/1 voting record
  1. ^ Venezuela was suspended from voting in the 76th session and the 11th emergency special session owing to its failure to pay dues in the previous two years, for which it did not receive a special waiver from the Assembly.[18]

23–24 March[edit]

Resolution ES-11/2 vote
  In favour: 140
  Against: 5
  Abstained: 38
  Absent: 10
  Non-member

On 23 March the session was continued and two more competing resolutions were introduced. Ukraine introduced the resolution "Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine" (A/ES-11/L.2) and South Africa the "Humanitarian situation emanating out of the conflict in Ukraine" (A/ES-11/L.3) resolution.[19] On 24 March resolution A/ES-11/L.2 received 140 votes in favour and five against, with 38 countries abstaining.[20]

Resolution ES-11/2 reaffirmed the member states' existing commitments and obligations under the United Nations Charter and reiterated the General Assembly's demand that Russia withdraw from Ukraine's recognized sovereign territory; it also deplored, expressed grave concern over and condemned attacks on civilian populations and infrastructure. Fourteen principles were agreed. Briefly, the principles demanded the full implementation of resolution ES-11/1, immediate cessation of the hostilities by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, full protection of civilians – including humanitarian personnel, journalists and persons in vulnerable situations – and encouraged "continued negotiation".[21]

Voting on Resolution ES-11/2
Vote Tally States Percent of votes Percent of members
In favour 140 Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia 96.55% 72.53%
Against 5 Belarus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Russian Federation, Syria 3.45% 2.59%
Abstain 38 Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe 19.68%
Absent 10 Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Dominica, Guinea, Morocco, Somalia, Turkmenistan, Venezuela[a] 5.18%
Total 193 100% 100%
Source: A/RES/ES-11/2 voting record
  1. ^ Venezuela was suspended from voting in the 76th session and the 11th emergency special session owing to its failure to pay dues in the previous two years, for which it did not receive a special waiver from the Assembly.[18]

7 April[edit]

Resolution ES-11/3 vote
  In favour: 93
  Against: 24
  Abstained: 58
  Absent: 18
  Non-member

The emergency special session reconvened on 7 April to discuss a resolution co-sponsored by 53 delegations to suspend Russia's membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council on account of reported "violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by the Russian Federation, including gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights".[22]

In introducing the draft resolution, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Permanent Representative of Ukraine, reminded the Assembly of the UN's failure to take determined action to prevent the Rwandan genocide in 1994, a tragedy the UN commemorates every year on 7 April. He drew a parallel between Rwanda's presence as a non-permanent member of the Security Council at the time and Russia's permanent Security Council seat: the former had enabled Rwanda's "genocidal regime" to influence other members with its perspective on the situation, while the latter allowed Russia "to spread lies almost daily". Those delegations planning to abstain in the vote, he said, would be showing the same indifference that failed to prevent genocide in Rwanda.[23]

In response, Gennady Kuzmin, Russia's deputy permanent representative with responsibility for human rights issues,[24] denounced the draft as an attempt by the United States to maintain its dominant position and to exert human rights colonialism, and he warned that his country's exclusion from the Human Rights Council could set a dangerous precedent. Addressing the allegations of abuses levelled at the Russian military, he said they were based on "staged events and widely circulated fakes".[23][25]

The resolution was adopted by 93 votes to 24, with 58 abstentions. This was only the second occasion on which a state's membership in the Council had been suspended, following the case of Libya in 2011 during the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.[3][26] Speaking after the meeting, Kuzmin described the resolution as an "illegitimate and politically motivated step" and said that Russia had already withdrawn from the Council prior to the General Assembly vote.[25][27][28]

Voting on Resolution ES-11/3
Vote Tally States Percent of votes Percent of member states
In favour 93 Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay 79.49% 48.19%
Against 24 Algeria, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mali, Nicaragua, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe 20.51% 12.44%
Abstain 58 Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Egypt, El Salvador, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Yemen 30.05%
Absent 18 Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Turkmenistan, Venezuela,[a] Zambia 9.33%
Total 193 100% 100%
Source: A/RES/ES-11/3 voting record
  1. ^ Venezuela was suspended from voting in the 76th session and the 11th emergency special session owing to its failure to pay dues in the previous two years, for which it did not receive a special waiver from the Assembly.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nichols, Michelle (27 February 2022). "U.N. Security Council calls rare General Assembly session on Ukraine". Reuters. Archived from the original on 28 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b "UN votes to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and calls for withdrawal". The Guardian. 2 March 2022. Archived from the original on 2 March 2022. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b "UN General Assembly votes to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council". UN News. 7 April 2022. Archived from the original on 7 April 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  4. ^ a b "UNGA Emergency Special Sessions". UN.org. Archived from the original on 28 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Russia, Ukraine clash at emergency special session of UN General Assembly: Only 11th such meet since 1956". MSN. Archived from the original on 5 March 2022. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly". UN.org. Archived from the original on 15 December 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  7. ^ "U.N. Security Council calls rare General Assembly session on Ukraine". Reuters. 28 February 2022. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  8. ^ "S/2022/155". United Nations Security Council. 25 February 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Security Council Calls Emergency Special Session of General Assembly on Ukraine Crisis, Adopting Resolution 2623 (2022) by 11 Votes in Favour, 1 Against, 3 Abstentions" (Press release). New York City: United Nations Security Council. 27 February 2022. Archived from the original on 2 March 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  10. ^ Lederer, Edith M. (28 February 2022). "UN to hold 2 meetings Monday on Russia's invasion of Ukraine". ABC News. Archived from the original on 8 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  11. ^ Falk, Pamela (28 February 2022). "U.N. General Assembly emergency session hears overwhelming global support for Ukraine". CBS News. Archived from the original on 9 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  12. ^ "S/RES/2623 (2022)". United Nations Security Council. 27 February 2022. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  13. ^ a b "General Assembly holds emergency special session on Ukraine crisis". UN News. 28 February 2022. Archived from the original on 1 March 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  14. ^ "U.N. General Assembly set to isolate Russia over Ukraine invasion". Reuters. Archived from the original on 1 March 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Russia defends invasion during emergency UN General Assembly". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 1 March 2022. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Aggression against Ukraine : Voting Summary". United Nations. 2 March 2022. Archived from the original on 3 March 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  17. ^ A/ES-11/L.1 Archived 6 March 2022 at the Wayback Machine, United Nations, 2 March 2022.
  18. ^ a b c Guterres, António (27 February 2022). "Letter dated 27 February 2022 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly". Archived from the original on 6 March 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  19. ^ "Speakers Discuss Two Competing Draft Resolutions on Humanitarian Situation in Ukraine, as General Assembly Resumes Emergency Special Session - Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". Welcome to the United Nations. 23 March 2022. Archived from the original on 24 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  20. ^ "UN General Assembly urges Russia to stop full-fledged invasion of Ukraine". Interfax-Ukraine. 24 March 2022. Archived from the original on 25 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine : resolution / adopted by the General Assembly". 28 March 2022. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  22. ^ "A/ES-11/L.4: Suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council" (PDF). United Nations Digital Library. 7 April 2022. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  23. ^ a b "General Assembly: Eleventh Emergency Special Session, 10th and 11th meetings". United Nations: Meetings Coverage and Press Releases. 7 April 2022.
  24. ^ "Structure". Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. Archived from the original on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  25. ^ a b "Russia suspended from human rights council after UN general assembly vote". The Guardian. 7 April 2022. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  26. ^ "United Nations suspends Russia from human rights body over Ukraine". Reuters. 7 April 2022. Archived from the original on 7 April 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  27. ^ Lederer, Edith M.; Peltz, Jennifer (7 April 2022). "UN assembly suspends Russia from top human rights body". AP News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  28. ^ "Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin after adoption of UNGA resolution on suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council". Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. 7 April 2022.

External links[edit]