GA: Ukraine

Statement by the Nordic-Baltic countries after the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution on 'The humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine', 24 March 2022.

The statement was delivered by the Permanent Representative of Denmark on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Mr. President,

I deliver this Explanation of Vote on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country Denmark.

Today, we voted not to take action on the South African resolution titled “the Humanitarian situation in Ukraine”.

Let me be clear. In general, the South African resolution includes messages and principles that we as Nordics and steadfast defenders of the humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law are supportive of.

Yet, the decision to vote no was not difficult. For two reasons as already stated by the EU, which bears repeating:

First, our problem with the text is less so what is in it. But what is not in it. It only mentions Ukraine. Yet, Russia, and Russia alone, bears the responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe we are discussing today. Only Russia can end it. The responsibility is clear. The message we send from the General Assembly must be just as clear.

And second, our problem with the text is not who is behind it, but who is not behind it. As UN Member States, we have a strong tradition for engaging on humanitarian crises together with the country of concern. And the sponsors of the South African resolution are among the strongest defenders of this principle and tradition. It was therefore particularly regrettable that the resolution is drafted without the engagement of Ukraine. Even more so, that it was tabled in competition to a humanitarian resolution earlier put forward by a cross-regional group of countries together with Ukraine.

A resolution which was adopted by an overwhelming majority of the General Assembly.

Mr. President,

It does not take much imagination for any of us to put ourselves in the place of our dear colleague, the PR of Ukraine. Your country is invaded, your people is living through a humanitarian disaster. How would you expect the UN to act? Would you expect and insist to be consulted?

If the answer is yes, your conclusion can only be: Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine. And as Nordic-Baltic countries, we are grateful that this, too, was the message from the General Assembly today.

Thank you.