UNSC votes for emergency UNGA session on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, India abstains from voting

Russia could not veto the decision to hold the emergency UNGA session as the request was procedural. 

UNSC votes to call for emergency UNGA session on Russia's invasion on Ukraine
UNSC votes to call for emergency UNGA session on Russia's invasion on Ukraine

The United Nations Security Council voted on February 27, 2022 in favour of holding an emergency special session of the 193-member UN General Assembly over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The emergency UN General Assembly session will be held today.

Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly will preside over the Session. The proposal to convene the General Assembly session was adopted with 11 voting in favour, Russia voting against and India, China and the United Arab Emirates abstaining from the vote.

The request to hold the emergency UNGA comes after Russia vetoed a US-led draft Security Council resolution on Russia on February 25, 2022.

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Why did Russia not veto proposal to hold emergency UNGA session?

Russia could not veto the decision to hold the emergency UNGA session as the request was procedural. None of the five permanent UN Security Council members could use their vetoes. The proposal just needed nine votes to pass and it received 11 in total.

What is Resolution ‘Uniting for Peace’?

The UN General Assembly has held 10 emergency special sessions since 1950 under the resolution 377A(V), 'Uniting for Peace.' As per the resolution, an emergency special session can be convened iwthin 24 hours.

Resolution 377A(V) gives the UN General Assembly the power to take up matters of international peace and security when the Security Council is unable to act due to lack of unanimity among its five veto-wielding permanent members.

11th emergency UNGA Session

  • The UN General Assembly is expected to vote on a resolution similar to the one that was taken up by the Security Council on February 25th.
  • The UNGA resolutions are non-binding but they carry political weight as they express the will of the wider UN membership.
  • US Ambassador to the UN,  Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, "By calling for an emergency special session of the General Assembly, we have recognized that this is no ordinary moment and that we need to take extraordinary steps to confront this threat to our international system.”
  • The United States is one of the countries that had requested the meeting.

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Past 10 emergency UNGA sessions

10th Session- Illegal Israel actions in East Jerusalem and Palestinian Territory (June 13, 2018)

9th Session- Situation in Occupied Arab Countries (January 29-February 5, 1982)

8th Session- Question of Namibia (September 13-14, 1981)

7th Session- Question of Palestine ( July 22-29, 1980)

6th Session- Situation in Afghanistan ( January 10-14, 1980)

5th Session- Middle East (June 17-18, 1967)

4th Session- Question of Congo (September 17-19, 1960)

3rd Session- Middle East (August 8-21, 1958)

2nd Session- Hungary (November 4-10, 1956)

1st Session – Middle East (November 1-10, 1956)

Read more: Impact on Russia-Ukraine war on sports: Check below 15 major sporting fallouts

Russia Ukraine crisis: Why India abstained from voting on UNSC resolution on Russia-Ukraine conflict?

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