23 February 2023
Explanation of vote on Resolution A/ES-11/L.7 on Ukraine during the 11th UNGA ESS, Thursday, 23 February 2023
South Africa continues to express its deep regret that the war in Ukraine, which marks its first anniversary, continues to destroy innocent lives and critical infrastructure, as well as displacing millions.
This is a war whose impact has resonated across the globe, affecting the livelihoods of the most vulnerable, and heightening the current debilitating global food, fuel, and finance crisis.
South Africa wishes to stress its unwavering belief in the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter. We believe that sovereignty and the territorial integrity of all States should be sacrosanct, and this also applies to Ukraine.
We are also firm in our resolve that urgent actions are needed to end the war. However, it is a sad indictment of our efforts that we as the international community have been unable to come up with concrete proposals to create the conditions to do so. As South Africa has stated before in this Assembly, diplomacy and dialogue is the only path that will lead to a sustainable and peaceful resolution of the conflict.
This resolution on the war in Ukraine, which comes amidst an influx of arms to the region, perpetuating greater acts of violence and increased human suffering. This, together with the threat of nuclear war makes peace seem less attainable.
Over the last year, the UN General Assembly has adopted a series of resolutions on Ukraine. As we have asked the Assembly before, are our words and actions focused on the maintenance of peace OR creating further divisions that make the attainment of immediate peace less likely?
While we support the present resolution’s focus on the principles of the Charter and international law, it sadly brings us no closer to laying the foundations for a durable peace and bringing an end to the devastation and destruction.
What we need is a firm unequivocal commitment to peace, from all parties. A resolution calling for peace without firm action will ring hollow.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
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