Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Text of A/ES-11/L.1; UN General Assembly Resolution -- "Aggression against Ukraine"

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The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday approved a nonbinding resolution condemning Russia for invading Ukraine and demanding that it withdraw its military forces. The vote came after a series of speeches during which the majority of countries called on Russia to end the violence in Ukraine, which has continued for nearly one week. (The U.N. approves a resolution demanding that Russia end the invasion of Ukraine)

While the vote adds political pressure, to the extent that Russia is affected by that sort of pressure in its war calculus, more importantly it served as a preliminary and tentative vote of allegiance to one or more of the emerging normative systems into which the global community is fracturing in its trade, rights, development, economic, and political norms and practices. The big fracture between the US and China is now more clearly visible, even through the fog of the stratagem of abstention.  Far more interesting is the emergence of the non- (and near-)apex regional powers and others. India and Iran are interesting. Both suggest the way on which these sub-apex powers are seeking to navigate shifting relationships with apex hubs; India between Russia and the US; Iran between Russia and China.   effort to navigate between old allegiances (and markets-arms suppliers). Serbia chose to avoid the trap of pan-Slavism and voted with Europe (where its heart is may be a different matter but one worth noting). Israel and UAE were also in a delicate spot but both voted their primary loyalty (having thereafter to mediate the consequences  in the next short time period). Bolivia and Nicaragua are interesting not because they are outliers but because of the ramifications of their vote for their continued internal stability and future long term course. Myanmar voted for Myanmar but through the proxy on Russia. And the shape of the contest for Africa reveals itself more clearly. Within it, South African strategies may prove the most interesting and risky--not for ther system but for its players. All of this, however, will play out as a function of memory, interest, revenge and opportunity on an institutional and personal level.  More drama to be sure ;some of it with geopolitical interest. 

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The text of the resolution, however, is worth study.  It is a template for future versions of such texts. It suggests the nature and character of the consensus narrative on sovereignty and the resolution of conflict.  And most importantly, the resolution reinforces the principles of territorial integrity and non-interference, at least in its discursive forms. It now provides a cover, as well, for individual and multilateral action,even in the absence of the triggering of formal collective authority to engage in any such action. The narratives of independence, territorial integrity,and non-interference will continue to develop,but ultimately fro out of this conflict in unanticipated ways without a careful management that is unlikely to emerge any time soon.

The irony here, of course, is that China's support for Russia as part of its core policy of promoting friendly relations, may come at a cost in the long and medium term, especially with respect to its desire to drive more effectively the tone, views, and narratives of international relations and the operation of the state system. The dissonance between action/interests and Chinese foreign policy principles (as stated by a high official at the end of 2021 HERE), was evident in the statement by Chinese officials in support of abstention:

Elaborating on China’s abstention, Beijing’s envoy, Zhang Jun, said the resolution did not undergo “full consultations with the whole membership” of the assembly. "Nor does it take full consideration of the history and complexity of the current crisis. It does not highlight the importance of the principle of indivisible security, or the urgency of promoting political settlement and stepping up diplomatic efforts,” he said. “These are not in line with China’s consistent positions.” (U.N. General Assembly in historic vote denounces Russia over Ukraine invasion)

The text follows below (in English).



Eleventh emergency special session

Agenda item 5

Letter dated 28 February 2014 from the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2014/136)


Distr.: Limited

1 March 2022 Original: English

22-02912 (E)

Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Uruguay:

draft resolution
Aggression against Ukraine

The General Assembly,
Reaffirming the paramount importance of the Charter of the United Nations in

the promotion of the rule of law among nations,

Recalling the obligation of all States under Article 2 of the Charter to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations, and to settle their international disputes by peaceful means,

Recalling also the obligation under Article 2 (2) of the Charter, that all Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfil in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the Charter,






Taking note of Security Council resolution 2623 (2022) of 27 February 2022, in which the Council called for an emergency special session of the General Assembly to examine the question contained in document S/Agenda/8979,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 377 A (V) of 3 November 1950, entitled “Uniting for peace”, and taking into account that the lack of unanimity of the permanent members of the Security Council at its 8979th meeting has prevented it from exercising its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security,

Recalling also its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970, in which it approved the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming the principles contained therein that the territory of a State shall not be the object of acquisition by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, and that any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of a State or country or at its political independence is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter,

Recalling further its resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, which defines aggression as the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter,

Bearing in mind the importance of maintaining and strengthening international peace founded upon freedom, equality, justice and respect for human rights and of developing friendly relations among nations irrespective of their political, economic and social systems or the levels of their development,

Recalling the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, signed in Helsinki on 1 August 1975, and the Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Budapest Memorandum) of 5 December 1994,

Condemning the 24 February 2022 declaration by the Russian Federation of a “special military operation” in Ukraine,

Reaffirming that no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal,

Expressing grave concern at reports of attacks on civilian facilities such as residences, schools and hospitals, and of civilian casualties, including women, older persons, persons with disabilities, and children,

Recognizing that the military operations of the Russian Federation inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine are on a scale that the international community has not seen in Europe in decades and that urgent action is needed to save this generation from the scourge of war,

Endorsing the Secretary-General’s statement of 24 February 2022 in which he recalled that the use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold and that the present military offensive of the Russian Federation is against the Charter,

Condemning the decision of the Russian Federation to increase the readiness of its nuclear forces,

Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine, with an increasing number of internally displaced persons and refugees in need of humanitarian assistance,




Expressing concern also about the potential impact of the conflict on increased food insecurity globally, as Ukraine and the region are one of the world’s most important areas for grain and agricultural exports, when millions of people are facing famine or the immediate risk of famine or are experiencing severe food insecurity in several regions of the world, as well as on energy security,

Welcoming the continued efforts by the Secretary-General and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international and regional organizations to support de-escalation of the situation with respect to Ukraine, and encouraging continued dialogue,

1. Reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters;

2. Deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter;

3. Demands that the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and to refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any Member State;

4. Also demands that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders;

5. Deplores the 21 February 2022 decision by the Russian Federation related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter;

6. Demands that the Russian Federation immediately and unconditionally reverse the decision related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine;

7. Calls upon the Russian Federation to abide by the principles set forth in the Charter and the Declaration on Friendly Relations;1

8. Calls upon the parties to abide by the Minsk agreements and to work constructively in relevant international frameworks, including in the Normandy format and Trilateral Contact Group, towards their full implementation;

9. Demands all parties to allow safe and unfettered passage to destinations outside of Ukraine and to facilitate the rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need in Ukraine, to protect civilians, including humanitarian personnel and persons in vulnerable situations, including women, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrants and children, and to respect human rights;

10. Deplores the involvement of Belarus in this unlawful use of force against Ukraine, and calls upon it to abide by its international obligations;

11. Condemns all violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, and calls upon all parties to respect strictly the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 19492 and Additional Protocol I thereto of 1977,3 as applicable, and to respect international human rights law, and in this regard further demands that all parties


1 Resolution 2625 (XXV), annex.
2 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, Nos. 970–973. 3 Ibid., vol. 1125, No. 17512.


ensure respect for and the protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities;

12. Demands that all parties fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to spare the civilian population, and civilian objects, refraining from attacking, destroying, removing or rendering useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and respecting and protecting humanitarian personnel and consignments used for humanitarian relief operations;

13. Requests the Emergency Relief Coordinator to provide, 30 days after the adoption of the present resolution, a report on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and on the humanitarian response;

14. Urges the immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine through political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means;

15. Welcomes and urges the continued efforts by the Secretary-General, Member States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international and regional organizations to support the de-escalation of the current situation, as well as the efforts of the United Nations, including of the United Nations Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine, and humanitarian organizations to respond to the humanitarian and refugee crisis that the aggression by the Russian Federation has created;

16. Decides to adjourn the eleventh emergency special session of the General Assembly temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly to resume its meetings upon request from Member States.

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