UNGA resolution urges Russia to pay Ukraine war reparations

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Pakistan, along with 72 other countries, abstained when the UN General Assembly Monday voted to adopt a resolution calling for Russia to be held accountable for international law violations relating to the war in Ukraine, including by paying war reparations.

Sponsored by 57 countries, the resolution garnered in the 193-member Assembly 94 votes in favour to 14 against, including Russia, China, Cuba, Mali and Ethiopia.

It was the lowest level of support for any of the five resolutions about Ukraine that the General Assembly had passed since Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Further, the resolution recommended the establishment of an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury arising from the Russian’s wrongful acts.

Speaking in explanation of his vote, Pakistani delegate Gul Qaiser said while Pakistan supports the establishment of a claims commission, any such mechanism must be based on sound legal foundations.

But, he said the resolution failed to address key legal requirements in a comprehensive manner.

Qaiser, first secretary in the Pakistan Mission to the UN, also said it would be “unprecedented” to establish the proposed mechanism that is neither managed by nor accountable to any of the UN principal organs, including the Assembly.

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 delegate said that double standards in application of international law were counter productive.—NNI

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