South Africa abstained from voting during an emergency session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly which overwhelmingly voted to adopt a resolution demanding Russia’s immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Ukraine.
The resolution received 141 votes in favour of the resolution, with 35 abstentions, while just four countries joined Russia in voting “no”, including Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea.
South Africa’s ambassador to the UN, Mathu Joyini, says the resolution in its current form could drive a wedge between the parties.
Joyini explained South Africa’s abstention over the resolution’s lack of emphasis on a diplomatic path.
“The text does call for the immediate and peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two parties through political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means but Pretoria’s envoy argued it did not go far enough,” says Joyini.
South Africa abstains from the UN vote against Russia:
Joyini says,“The resolution that we have considered does not create an environment conducive for diplomacy, dialog and mediation. While we agree with and support the efforts taken by Member States to bring to the attention of the international community the situation in Ukraine, South Africa feels that greater attention should have been paid to bringing the sides closer to dialogue…”
“For South Africa, the text in its current form could drive a wedge between the parties rather than contributing to resolution of conflict. The resolution should have welcomed the commencement of negotiations between the parties. Additionally, the role of the Security Council, as well as the good offices of the UN Secretary-General, could have been given more prominence in the resolution,” added Joyini.