Singapore, 140 others vote for UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

·Senior Editor
·2-min read
Singapore's United Nations Ambassador Burhan Gafoor speaking at the UN General Assembly on 28 February 2022. (SCREENSHOT: United Nations/YouTube)
Singapore's United Nations Ambassador Burhan Gafoor speaking at the UN General Assembly on 28 February 2022. (SCREENSHOT: United Nations/YouTube)

SINGAPORE — Singapore and 140 other members of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly for a resolution demanding an immediate halt to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine and withdrawal of all its troops.

In an emergency session of the General Assembly, five voted against the resolution and 35 abstained. Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria voted against the resolution while China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and Vietnam were among the member states that abstained.

The resolution stated that the UN “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine”. It demanded that “the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine” and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces”.

Singapore – one of 94 co-sponsors of the resolution – has been issuing statements to condemn the invasion, including from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, after Russia launched its full-scale military operations across Ukraine last Thursday.

A resolution tabled before the General Assembly requires two-thirds support for it to be adopted. General Assembly resolutions are non-binding but they carry political significance in highlighting world opinion on issues being tabled.

“Singapore condemns in the strongest terms possible any unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country under any pretext,” said its UN Ambassador Burhan Gafoor in the General Assembly on Monday. After delivering his emphatic speech to deplore the invasion, Gafoor was hugged by his Ukrainian counterpart Sergiy Kyslytsya.

In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Singapore said it will impose export controls on items that can be used directly as weapons in Ukraine, as well as certain financial sanctions on Russia.

The passing of the resolution in the General Assembly comes five days after the 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) failed to pass a similar resolution following a veto by Russia, a permanent member of the UNSC. Eleven other members voted for the resolution while China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstained. Singapore was one of the 82 co-sponsors of the UNSC resolution.

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