Afghanistan, Myanmar to vote against Russia at UN

AFP , Tuesday 1 Mar 2022

Afghanistan and Myanmar are voting for a United Nations General Assembly resolution denouncing Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to diplomats.

UN General Assembly meetings
The United Nations holds its second day of emergency special session General Assembly meetings on the Russia-Ukraine conflict in New York, on March 1, 2022. - The United Nations opened a rare emergency special session of the General Assembly on Monday to discuss Russia s invasion of Ukraine by observing a minute of silence for those killed in the conflict. AFP

Afghanistan -- ruled by the Taliban -- and Myanmar, which is run by a military junta, are represented at the UN by ambassadors appointed by the countries' previous democratically elected governments that were overthrown last year.

The Taliban and Myanmar's military rulers have named their own UN ambassadors but they have not been recognized by the world body.

The resolution is being led by European countries in coordination with Ukraine.

Afghanistan and Myanmar are co-sponsors, according to a preliminary list of speakers seen by AFP, showing the two countries intend to support the resolution rather than vote against or abstain.

General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, unlike those approved by the Security Council, but a strong vote in favor will highlight Russia's isolation on the world stage.

Almost 100 out of the 193 countries at the UN have co-sponsored the resolution, which was sparked by Russia using its veto to block a similar resolution at the Security Council last week.

Moscow will not be able to rely on the support of its ally Venezuela during the meeting, as the South American country's right to vote has been suspended for several years because of debts owed to the UN that today exceed $40 million.

The resolution, obtained by AFP, "condemns" Russia's "decision to increase the readiness of its nuclear forces."

It also calls for an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and reaffirms Ukraine's sovereignty.

Two-thirds of members must vote in favor of the motion to pass.

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