Saturday December 02, 2023

UNGA resolution: Envoys based in Islamabad ask Pakistan to condemn Russian invasion

March 02, 2022
UNGA resolution: Envoys based in Islamabad ask Pakistan to condemn Russian invasion

ISLAMABAD: As the UN General Assembly meets in an Emergency Special Session, where the UNGA is expected to vote for a resolution to stop Russia’s aggression, senior diplomats from various embassies based in Islamabad asked Pakistan to condemn Russia’s armed hostility against Ukraine in the upcoming resolution.

It is rather unusual for so many heads of mission to reach out publicly in a joint letter and not send through the Foreign Office, which is the norm. There has been so far no response from the Foreign Office.

The urgency of the joint letter can be gauged from the fact that it has been decades since Europe has been at war and apart from Pakistan, it is India, China and the UAE which have sat out or abstained from voting against Russia at the UN recently.

Pakistan has already decided that it would not participate in the UN General Assembly Emergency Special Session as it wants to avoid taking sides. The joint letter points out that the upcoming resolution against Russia stressed the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally-recognised borders.

The resolution in its present form calls on Russia to immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces from the territory of Ukraine. "Russia [in an ] unprovoked attack...invaded a peaceful neighbouring country, which posed no threat to it. This constitutes a clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and presents a serious risk to global peace and security,” adds the letter. The ambassadors say the international community must work in solidarity and support and uphold the rules-based international order "in these extreme times". Pakistan has taken a consistent stand even before Russia attacked Ukraine.

As he returned from Moscow, Prime Minister Imran Khan after a three-hour meeting with President Vladimir Putin regretted the latest Kyiv-Moscow conflict and said that Pakistan had hoped diplomacy could avert a military conflict.

The prime minister, according to a statement from the PM's Office, stressed that the conflict was not in anyone’s interest and that the developing countries were always hit the hardest economically in case of conflict. "Pakistan believes that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy," the prime minister told the Russian president.

Even before Khan’s visit to Moscow, Pakistan reaffirmed support to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. In a meeting with Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar, Pakistan's Ambassador to Ukraine, Major General (retd) Noel Israel Khokhar voiced support to her country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in a tweet she expressed her gratitude to Pakistan for supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On Monday night, Pakistan, along with India and other nations, including Armenia, Gabon, Cameroon, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Namibia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, abstained in Geneva at another Ukraine-related vote in a UN body. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted on Monday to hold an urgent debate on Ukraine that will also consider a resolution for a probe into the alleged human rights violations

Meanwhile, the envoys in Islamabad in their joint letter, also quoted a statement from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying: "The UN Charter has been challenged in the past, but it has stood firm on the side of peace, security, development, justice, international law and human rights. The international community must do everything in its power so that these values prevail in Ukraine and for all humanity."

"We deplore the loss of life and humanitarian suffering as innocent civilians are being targeted and a mass exodus of women and children is underway into neighbouring countries from Ukraine, an independent and sovereign state and member of the United Nations. This is unacceptable in Europe, as it is anywhere in the world," the joint letter added.

Those, who sent the letter included Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara, Ambassador of Austria to Pakistan Nicolaus Keller, Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Philippe Bronchain, Ambassador of Bulgaria to Pakistan Irena Gancheva, Ambassador of Denmark in Pakistan Lis Rosenholm, Ambassador of France to Pakistan Nicolas Galey, Ambassador of Germany to Pakistan Bernhard Schlagheck, Ambassador of Hungary to Pakistan Béla Fazekas, Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese, Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Paulo Neves Pocinho, Ambassador of Poland to Pakistan Maciej Pisarski, Ambassador of Romania to Pakistan Nicolae Goia, Ambassador of Spain to Pakistan Manuel Durán Giménez-Rico, Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan Bénédict de Cerjat,

Ambassador of The Netherlands to Pakistan Wouter Plomp, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Mitsuhiro Wada, Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan Wendy Gilmour, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner and Charge d’Affaires Australian High Commission to Pakistan Bryze David Hutchesson.