U.N. Security Council plans vote to call General Assembly meeting on Ukraine

UN Ambassadors vote during a United Nations Security Council meeting, on a resolution regarding Russia’s actions toward Ukraine, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, U.S., February 25, 2022. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The U.N. Security Council is due to vote on Sunday to call for a rare emergency special session of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Reuters cited diplomats as saying that the vote by the 15-member council is procedural so none of the five permanent council members – Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States – can wield their vetoes.

There are no vetoes on a procedural vote in the council, unlike on resolutions. A procedural vote requires approval from nine of the 15 council members, according to AP.

The meeting was on a request by Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.

Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya tweeted Thursday that he asked General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid to prepare for an emergency meeting in the coming days.

He said the meeting should be held under the so-called “Uniting for Peace” resolution, initiated by the United States and adopted in November 1950 to circumvent vetoes by the Soviet Union during the 1950-53 Korean War, AP reported.

The resolution gives the General Assembly the power to call emergency meetings to consider matters of international peace and security when the Security Council is unable to act because of the lack of unanimity among its five veto-wielding permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.

Only 10 rare emergency special sessions of the General Assembly have been convened since 1950, according to Reuters.

The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution in March 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. The resolution, which declared invalid a referendum on the status of Crimea, received 100 yes votes and 11 against. Two dozen countries didn’t vote and 58 abstained.

After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east and south on Thursday, in an attack that threatened to upend Europe’s post-Cold War order.

Putin has cited the need to “denazify” Ukraine’s leadership as one of his main reasons for invasion, accusing it of genocide against Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine. Kyiv and its Western allies dismiss the accusations as baseless propaganda.

Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence at the fall of the Soviet Union and Kyiv hopes to join NATO and the EU – aspirations that infuriate Moscow.

Putin says Ukraine, a democratic nation of 44 million people, is an illegitimate state carved out of Russia, a view Ukrainians see as aimed at erasing their more than thousand-year history.

At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s health minister.

The minister said another 1,115 people, including 33 children, had been wounded in the Russian invasion.

The United States and allies are seeking as much support as possible to show Russia is internationally isolated.

U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Friday that more than $1 billion will be needed for aid operations in Ukraine over the next three months as hundreds of thousands of people are on the move after Russia invaded its neighbor, according to Reuters.

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