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11th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly

February 28, 2022 • By Amanda Sourek

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) made a statement during the 11th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, which was convened from 28 February – 2 March 2022 at the United Nations after a failure of the UN Security Council to pass resolution S/2022/155 to condemn the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. This Special Session was one of the eleven meetings held under the resolution 377 A (V), entitled “Uniting for Peace,” since the founding of the United Nations in 1945.

The President of the General Assembly, HE Abdulla Shahid, opened the Special Session with a minute of meditation for those affected by the war. Shahid stated that the military offensive by the Russian Federation is a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and that it is inconsistent with the UN Charter. The PGA called for an immediate cease fire and full return to diplomacy and dialogue by the parties involved, and encouraged Member States to support humanitarian initiatives as they become available.

The Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Antonio Guterres, addressed the General Assembly Hall with a stern statement that this war must stop now. Guterres voiced his concerns on the grave attack on Ukrainian residential buildings and other non-military infrastructures which are leading to civilian deaths, including children. The SG declared that “enough is enough” and that leaders need to find peace and abide by human rights law. This crisis not only affects Ukraine, but us all, and we must protect and assist those in need, particularly those that are finding refuge in neighboring countries. Guterres highlighted three actions from the UN to support those affected by the invasion. First, the UN has allocated $20 million to support emergency operations in several parts of the country. Second, the appointment of Amin Awad as the UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine will provide additional support to partners and those on the ground. Third, the UN has launched two coordinated emergency appeals for Ukraine and the Region. The SG concluded by advocating for peace and for MS to focus on solving problems, not making them worse.

Guterres was followed by statements of 118 UN Member States, including the United States of America, Ukraine, Russia, the EU, Brazil, Germany, among others; and the observers of the Holy See, Sovereign Order of Malta, and International IDEA.

The resolution to condemn the invasion by the Russian Federation in Ukraine was adopted by a historical voting count of 141 Member States in favor, 35 abstentions, and 5 against, including Russia, Syria, Eritrea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Belarus.

The representative of International IDEA, Amanda Sourek, delivered a statement from the UN General Assembly floor on behalf of Secretary-General Kevin Casas-Zamora. 

Read the statement here: 11th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly

The full video of this statement can be seen here:  11th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly  

About the authors

Amanda Sourek
Amanda Sourek
Outreach and United Nations Liaison
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