UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly scheduled a vote for Monday on a resolution that would call for Russia to be held accountable for violating international law by invading Ukraine, including by paying reparations.
The draft resolution, obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press, would recognize the need to establish “an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury'” arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” against Ukraine.
It would recommend that the assembly’s 193 member nations, in cooperation with Ukraine, create “an international register” to document claims and information on damage, loss or injury to Ukrainians and the government caused by Russia.
Russia’s veto power in the 15-member Security Council has blocked the U.N.’s most powerful body from taking any action since President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine on Feb. 24. But there are no vetoes in the General Assembly, which already has adopted four resolutions criticizing Russia’s invasion.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, but they do reflect world opinion and have demonstrated widespread opposition to Russia’s military action.
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The proposed resolution is co-sponsored by Canada, Guatemala, the Netherlands and Ukraine. General Assembly spokeswoman Paulina Kubiak said Tuesday that there will not be a debate on the draft resolution, but countries can give an explanation of their vote before or after the assembly takes action.
The resolution would reaffirm the General Assembly’s commitment to Ukraine’s “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity” and reiterate its demand for Russia to immediately “cease its use of force against Ukraine” and withdraw all its forces from Ukrainian territory.
It also would express “grave concern at the loss of life, civilian displacement, destruction of infrastructure and natural resources, loss of public and private property, and economic calamity caused by the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine.”
The draft recalls that Article 14 of the U.N. Charter authorizes the General Assembly to “recommend measures for the peaceful adjustment of any situation … which it deems likely to impair the general welfare of friendly relations among nations including violations of the Charter.
It also refers to a General Assembly resolution adopted on Dec. 16, 2005, titled “Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law.”
Soon after Russia’s invasion, the General Assembly adopted its first resolution on March 2 demanding an immediate Russian cease-fire, withdrawal of all its troops and protection for all civilians by a vote of 141-5 with 35 abstentions.
On March 24, the assembly voted 140-5 with 38 abstentions on a resolution blaming Russia for Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis and urging an immediate cease-fire and protection for millions of civilians and the homes, schools and hospitals critical to their survival.
The assembly voted 93-24 with 58 abstentions on April 7 — significantly lower than on the first two resolutions — to suspend Russia from the world organization’s leading human rights body, the Human Rights Council, over allegations that Russian soldiers in Ukraine engaged in rights violations that the United States and Ukraine have called war crimes.
But on Oct. 12, the assembly voted overwhelmingly again — 143-5 with 35 abstentions — to condemn Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of four Ukrainian regions and demand an immediate reversal.
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