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Why South Africa abstained from voting in Ukraine at UN General Assembly?

South Africa has explained its decision to abstain from voting on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

This after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution demanding that Russia immediately withdraw from Ukraine.

The resolution was passed after 141 of the 193 member states voted in favor of the non-binding resolution, while five voted against the resolution.

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mali, Namibia and Mozambique were among the 35 member states that abstained, while other African countries such as Botswana and Nigeria voted in favor of the resolution.

South Africa’s decision to abstain from the vote called for strong views from The Vanir-exoduss, who argued on social media that it should have voted to end the violence in Ukraine.

ALSO READ: UN General Assembly demands Russia withdraw from Ukraine

However, South Africa says that the conflict has left two members of the UN engaged in an armed conflict, and that it is the UN’s responsibility to take decisions and actions that will lead to a “constructive outcome” conducive to creating lasting peace between the parties.

The resolution passed at Wednesday’s meeting does not create an environment conducive to diplomacy, SA Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mathu Joyini argued in a statement. statement

“While we agree with and support Member States’ efforts to bring the situation in Ukraine to the attention of the international community, South Africa believes that more attention should have been paid to bring the parties closer to the dialogue to bring. For South Africa, the text in its current form could drive a deeper wedge between the parties rather than help resolve the conflict.”

Joyini said Wednesday’s resolution should have welcomed the start of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, as one of the root causes of the conflict is linked to the parties’ security concerns.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated that his main concern is the threat that “irresponsible Western politicians” have “consistently, rudely and unceremoniously” created for Russia for years.

Putin was referring to NATO’s eastern expansion, which he believes was bringing military infrastructure closer to the Russian border.

“The fact is that for the past 30 years we have patiently tried to come to an agreement with the leading NATO countries on the principles of equal and indivisible security in Europe. In response to our proposals, we were invariably faced with cynical deception and lies or attempts at pressure and blackmail, as the North Atlantic alliance continued to grow despite our protests and concerns. His military machine is on the move and, as I said, our border is approaching,” Putin said in a statement Kremlin last week.

Joyini said Wednesday’s meeting should have addressed this.

“Our position, as expressed in the discussions of the emergency special session in recent days, is that South Africa remains deeply concerned about the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and its regional and international socio-economic implications. We strongly urge all parties to uphold international law, including humanitarian law and human rights, as well as the principles of the UN Charter, including sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she said.

Although the emergency special session of the General Assembly was held after the Security Council failed to address the issue, Joyini said she still needs to be urged to play her role in maintaining international peace and security.

“South Africa believes that the UN, especially in the context of emergency special sessions, the nature and importance of which speaks to the seriousness of the issues we are raising to the international community, should be used as a platform to build bridges , address the disagreements, provide recommendations and support to the parties to deal with the spirit of compromise while de-escalating tensions, committing to the cessation of hostilities and building trust.”

But the resolution passed will not achieve this, according to Joyini.

“South Africa would also have preferred an open and transparent process to negotiate the resolution today. This would have enabled all of us, as equal members of the Assembly, to present our views and ideally reach a level of understanding before the text was submitted.”

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