Conflict between Russia and Ukraine: wrong vote

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution suspending Russia’s participation in the UN Human Rights Council. (Photo). This result disappointed the US government, which promoted the initiative, because Washington hoped that the overwhelming majority support for two resolutions passed in March and condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine would be repeated. On that occasion, 141 countries voted in favor of the former and 140 did so a few days later.

extreme vagueness

On this occasion, however, Washington’s proposal was supported by 93 countries, while 24 voted against and there were 58 abstentions. The resolution was approved because it exceeds two thirds of the valid votes, that is, in favor or against, not taking into account abstentions. But it is no mystery to anyone that, in real numbers, nearly half of the countries represented at the General Assembly did not support the US initiative. A possible reason for this behavior lies in the extreme vagueness of the resolution proposed by the United States. She says like this:

“This brief revolution expresses grave concern about the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, in particular the reports of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by the Russian Federation, including flagrant violations and abuses and systematics of human rights. ”

The curious thing about the case is that neither the General Assembly nor the UN Human Rights Council had any objective and impartial report on the events that would take place. In other words, Russia’s participation in the HRC has been temporarily suspended due to “reports” not produced by any body responsible for the UN system and, almost certainly, by the media or related communication platforms – or dependent on – governments of the United States and Europe. In short, the Irurzun Doctrine has been applied internationally: someone, in this case a country, is suspected of violating human rights and, while the probative reports are being prepared, a sanction is applied. In the Argentine case: presumption of crime committed by a disturbing politician or official, and while his commission is confirmed, pre-trial detention is ordered. The same thing was done today at the UN: in the absence of previous reports, a member state was suspended and, finally, a permanent member of the Security Council. A real legal monstrosity and an increasingly serious damage to international law.

White House initiative

Unfortunately, the Argentine government supported this White House initiative. Our country holds the pro tempore presidency of CELAC, and the bloc is divided in the vote. Eighteen countries voted in favor (Antigua, Argentina, Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Santa Lucia and Uruguay); eleven abstained (Barbados, Belize, Brazil, El Salvador, Guyana, Mexico, Saint Kitts, Saint Vincent / Grenadines, Saint Cristobal, Suriname and Trinidad / Tobago) and three voted against: Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua. Venezuela was unable to vote because due to the blockade it is in arrears in the payment of membership fees, but it is obvious that it would have voted against the initiative. A serious mistake of our government, you could have taken note of what the Brazilian representative said, Ronaldo Costa Filho: “Brazil has decided to abstain from today’s vote because it believes that the commission of inquiry should be able to carry out its independent investigation to determine the responsibilities.” His warning was ignored by our representative, who agreed to sanction a country with no reliable supporting evidence. I suppose the pressure that Washington exerted on all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean must have been very strong, but this is no excuse. If he had not wanted to or could not – due to Argentina’s vulnerability due to its foreign debt – vote against the US proposal, he would have had to abstain. And this for several reasons.

One, due to the absence of reliable evidence, which constitutes a fundamental violation of due process, valid in international affairs as well as in domestic politics. Second, because in October 2020 the Argentine government signed a “Strategic Association Agreement” with the Russian Federation, extremely convenient in economic and diplomatic terms, which now risks being suspended, or evicted. In exchange for? “Now will North American investments rain” for the great public works that this country needs and for which it has counted on the collaboration of Russia? And third, due to the weakening of the presidential word. We recall that a couple of months ago President Fernández told Vladimir Putin that Argentina could be the “gateway” to deepen Russia’s economic ties with Latin American countries, which is now seen, and nothing. of all this favors Us as a nation.

Victory of Pyrrhus

In conclusion: a Pyrrhic victory and doubtful for the diplomacy of the White House. A serious setback in its maximum objective: to expel Russia from the Security Council and from the G-20, which seems to have been opposed by several countries, including Argentina. It is a mistake that could cost our government a lot, with no advantage in sight, which could have opted, like almost half of the CELAC members, for abstention.

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