OAS resolution on the Ukrainian crisis
OASHINGTON, CMC – The Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday adopted a resolution on the crisis in Ukraine sparked by Russia’s military invasion of the Eastern European country last month, with Antigua and Barbuda warning that “the international legal order fights for his life”.
By a vote of 28 to none with five abstentions, the OAS Permanent Council approved the resolution on “The Crisis in Ukraine” with the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the hemispheric body, Sir Ronald Sanders, noting that all member countries are living in a deeply troubling moment.
“As we gather here at this important meeting of the Permanent Council, the international legal order is struggling to survive. Peace and security in the world – and, indeed, peace and security in our hemisphere – depend on respect for international law and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of the OAS, which all require two the repression of acts of aggression and compliance with the principles of justice and international law.
Sir Ronald said that peace and security are now under serious threat, destabilizing the world economy and the economies of all countries on the planet without exception.
He said these conditions quickly affected everyone in the world, especially the poorest, most powerless and least resilient.
“High oil prices, food shortages, increased cost of food, air and sea transport; higher costs for water and energy supply – all of these developments have affected every person in all our societies, especially the poor and vulnerable,” said Sir Ronald, adding that “our societies are at serious risk of destabilization”.
He said that the crisis in Ukraine caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation has not spared any of the OAS countries.
“Therefore, Madam President, every member state of this Organization of American States should be deeply concerned about themselves and about global peace and security. Unquestionably, each of our countries is also deeply troubled by the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Small countries, like mine, are particularly troubled because we are militarily and economically powerless. The only defense we have is respect and adherence to international law. When international law is violated, our defenses are shattered and we are exposed to aggression, in all its forms, which we have little ability to resist.
Sir Ronald said events in Ukraine “unfolded before our eyes” and no one can deny the loss of life and the displacement of millions; no one can deny that innocent women and children, including babies, have been the unfortunate victims of military action in densely populated cities; no country can turn a blind eye to the serious humanitarian crisis which is worsening even as we meet.
“Over the past three weeks, and up until yesterday, the overwhelming majority of our Member States have voted twice in the United Nations General Assembly to express condemnation of all violations of international law, including the IHL.
“However, our own organization has not yet made a collective statement on this issue, even though Ukraine and the Russian Federation are both permanent observers to the OAS and sit among us. That is why the delegations of Guatemala and Antigua and Barbuda, with the support of several other member states, presented this important resolution to the Permanent Council.
Sir Ronald said he wanted to thank the Member States who co-sponsored the resolution and the overwhelming majority of delegations who pledged their support.
“We want an end to this military assault on Ukraine. We want a return to international law. We want the humanitarian situation in Ukraine to be resolved to end the suffering of its people. We want dialogue and negotiations to end hostilities and restore peace.
Sir Ronald urged member countries to honor their responsibilities to the principles and values of the OAS Charter.