UN vote on anti-Russia resolution a classical representation of the ‘rules-based order’

17 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views

The Herald

By a majority of votes, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution that would oblige Russia to compensate losses inflicted on Ukraine during the conflict and has recognised the need to create a special “international mechanism” that would allow it to do so.

The resolution was supported by 94 countries in the 193-member world body vote on November 14. Some 73 more states abstained, while 14 countries voted against. Among others, those voting against the resolution included Russia itself, as well as China, Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe.

“An international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss, or injury” arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” in Ukraine needs to be established, the resolution says. The assembly’s members should create “an international register” that would include claims or data regarding damages, losses and injuries to Ukraine caused by Russia,” the UN decided.

While the UNGA resolutions are not legally binding, they do carry political weight.

Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, speaking on the topic of the resolution, called it a legally insignificant document.

“At the same time, the co-authors cannot help but realise that the adoption of such a resolution will entail consequences that can boomerang back to them,” Nebenzia said.

He added that the resolution intended to legalise the seizure of Russian assets previously frozen by Western countries. 

The draft resolution envisages establishing some sort of an ‘international mechanism for reparation for damage’. 

What comes next is a mere technicality – the mechanism is to be created by a certain group of states, who will decide how it should work.

It means that the General Assembly is offered to give a carte blanche for establishing a body, of which functionality most of those present in this hall will not have even the remotest idea.

These countries will, at their own discretion, determine, or rather appoint the perpetrators and establish the amount of damage, methods of its compensation among others.

 The UN will not play any role in this process, because this mechanism is supposed to be created outside the organisation’s framework, and no one is going to report to the General Assembly on its activities. 

We emphasise that the vast majority of member states will have absolutely no voice or power of control in the establishment of the mechanism or during its operation.

The West is doing its best to add at least some semblance of legitimacy to its actions which aim at spending hundreds of billions of dollars of sovereign assets that have been frozen, and in fact, stolen from the Russian Federation. They have long wanted to “unfreeze” the assets, but not to return the funds to their rightful owner or spend them on helping Ukraine, but rather to finance the ever-growing arms supplies to Kiev and pay off its debts for the already transferred weapons. 

The West wants to prolong and further aggravate the conflict, planning to use Russian money for this. 

A corresponding decision by the UNGA is only needed to cover up for this barefaced robbery. 

Do the developing states want to have anything in common with this initiative at all? We think for the majority of them it is not only preposterous but actually insulting that Western countries have come to demand rather than pay off reparations. 

This plot with first stealing and then spending sovereign state assets has been conceived by exactly the same states that have a hefty track record of robbing the rest of the world.

I mean the centuries of slavery and oppression, colonialism, and neo-colonial domination, military aggression and interventions, blockades, unilateral sanctions, and shameless exploitation of natural resources of the occupied and subjugated countries.

 The authors of the initiative try to make everyone forget it, while propagating only the Ukrainian story.

Western states never considered “reparations” as a means to atone for their own sins. 

Furthermore, they have blocked relevant discussions of this issue in the Sixth Committee for two decades, and also impeded elaboration of a multilateral tool for responsibility of states for internationally wrongful acts. 

They only have recalled this concept now, after they set sights on “reparations” as a handy tool to rob yet another state”.

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev noted in his Telegram channel “The end will be painful for the entire international community. We will do without such a ‘united nations’ organisation”. 

Having passed the resolution on Russia’s “reparations” to Ukraine, the UNGA should “adopt the same recommendation on total reparation of the damage inflicted by the United States on Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Yugoslavia and many other countries that suffered from the Americans and NATO”. 

Otherwise, “it looks like the beginning of the United Nations’ agony as a key international institution for reconciliation,” he stressed. 

According to Medvedev, the resolution is meant to legalise the West’s plans to use Russia’s frozen assets. 

“The Anglo-Saxons are obviously seeking to scrape up a legal basis for stealing illegally arrested Russian assets,” he added.

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