cloudyn.png
Saturday December 3rd, 2022 6:33PM

At UN, Russia's war in Ukraine is both text and subtext

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — After two years of discourse dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, this year's U.N. General Assembly has a new occupant of center stage: the war in Ukraine.

The pleas made by leaders from around the world for peace were both an altruistic amplification of besieged Ukrainians' plight as well as born from self-interest. As several speeches made clear, the repercussions of the Russian invasion have been felt even thousands of miles away.

“It is not just the dismay that we feel at seeing such deliberate devastation of cities and towns in Europe in the year 2022. We are feeling this war directly in our lives in Africa,” Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said Wednesday. "Every bullet, every bomb, every shell that hits a target in Ukraine, hits our pockets and our economies in Africa.”

The speeches that elided any direct reference to the conflict were few, but the war resonated even in the absence of its direct invocation. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the president of Kazakhstan, never let the words “Ukraine” or “Russia” slip from his lips, but he made several seemingly pointed allusions.

He opened his remarks by painting a bleak picture of a world catapulted into a “new, increasingly bitter period of geopolitical confrontation” that's engendered “the prospect of the use of nuclear weapons, and not even as a last resort.”

Just hours later, Russian President Vladimir Putin — who is not attending the U.N. General Assembly — declared that he would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons to defend his country's territory.

Russia is a key ally of Kazakhstan, and the war in Ukraine has left the former Soviet country in an awkward spot. Tokayev performed a similar dance last week during Pope Francis' visit, refusing to speak directly about Ukraine while generally decrying a morbid state of affairs.

On Tuesday, Tokayev laid out “three primordial principles: the sovereign equality of states, the territorial integrity of states, and peaceful coexistence between states.”

“These three principles are interdependent. To respect one is to respect the other two. To undermine one is to undermine the other two,” he said.

The theme of territorial sovereignty resonated in other speeches, as countries who have faced infringements invoked their own traumas or cited the fate of Ukraine as a fear.

“We must not be silent in Bosnia and Herzegovina either. We owe that to our vivid memories of the horrors of war and aggression," Šefik Džaferović, chair of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Wednesday. “The United Nations system was unable to prevent or stop the war in my country in the period between 1992 and 1995. Unfortunately, that happened again with Ukraine.”

Russia has long been accused of trying to destabilize the Balkans anew — including Bosnia and Herzegovina. Džaferović's turn at the rostrum came a day after Putin met with a Bosnian Serb separatist leader in Moscow.

Russian peacekeepers have been stationed in Transnistria, a breakaway region in Moldova, since the end of a separatist war in 1992. Sandwiched between description of how the war in Ukraine — “our neighbor and friend” — has affected her country, Moldovan President Maia Sandu called for the “complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops” from Transnistria.

Poland is the Ukrainian ally that has taken in the most refugees, and President Andrzej Duda made 34 references to the country in his speech Tuesday.

“We must not forget those who are suffering," Duda said. "Let us remember that six months of Russian aggression in Ukraine has brought the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.”

But Duda also highlighted how Ukraine has captured the world's attention when many other momentous crises outside of Europe have not.

“Were we equally resolute during the tragedies of Syria, Libya, Yemen? Did we not return to business as usual after two great tragedies of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the wars in the Horn of Africa, and while condemning the invasion of Ukraine, do we give equal weight to fighting mercenaries who seek to destabilize the Sahel and threaten many other states in Africa?” he said.

On the first day alone, Ukraine drew more than 150 mentions across speeches from leaders, including the U.N. secretary-general. Antonio Guterres opened the General Assembly by touting Ukraine and Russia's deal — with the help of Turkey — over grain shipments as an example of successful multilateral diplomacy. The war was threaded throughout his speech, as he turned to its gloomier yields.

“The fighting has claimed thousands of lives. Millions have been displaced. Billions across the world are affected,” he said.

In the lone video address to the General Assembly, for which he was given special dispensation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself called out the seven countries who voted against the allowance: “Seven. Seven who are afraid of the video address. Seven who respond to principles with a red button. Only seven."

None of those seven had yet spoken. But even if those countries had somehow prevailed, Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová said it was incumbent on other countries to advocate for Ukraine.

“The democratic world and all of us must be a voice of Ukraine. The voice that won’t be silent, voice that will continue to testify about Russia’s crimes in Ukraine,” she said Tuesday. “The voice that will remember, and that will act — so no one is ever allowed to commit such atrocities again.”

___

Follow Mallika Sen at https://twitter.com/mallikavsen. For more AP coverage of the U.N. General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Fugitive in massive Navy bribery case caught in Venezuela
A Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated one of the largest bribery scandals in U.S. military history has been arrested in Venezuela
12:24AM ( 15 minutes ago )
AP: Probe finds evidence of bank boss' romance with top aide
Investigators say they found evidence a former Trump official who heads Latin America’s biggest development bank carried on a romantic relationship with his chief of staff
12:11AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Puerto Rico struggles to reach areas cut off by Fiona
Hurricane Fiona left dozens of families stranded across Puerto Rico after smashing roads and bridges, with authorities still struggling to reach people four days after the storm smacked the U.S. territory, causing historic flooding
12:10AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
'Art of the steal': Trump accused of vast fraud in NY suit
New York’s attorney general has sued former President Donald Trump and his company, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D
10:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
Renowned author Joan Didion honored by hundreds at memorial
Joan Didion, a master of rhythm and of the meaning of the unsaid, was remembered Wednesday as an inspiring and fearless writer and valued, exacting and sometimes eccentric friend
10:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump docs probe: Court lifts hold on Mar-a-Lago records
A federal appeals court has lifted a judge’s hold on the Justice Department’s ability to use classified records seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate in its ongoing criminal investigation
10:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Federer on GOAT debate in AP Interview: How can you compare?
Roger Federer says in an interview with The Associated Press that he thinks impossible to compare the careers of top players such as him, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
9:14PM ( 3 hours ago )
Virginia Thomas agrees to interview with Jan. 6 panel
The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, conservative activist Virginia Thomas, has agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection
8:48PM ( 3 hours ago )
Around 200 stranded whales die in pounding surf in Australia
A day after 230 whales were found stranded on the wild and remote west coast of Australia’s island state of Tasmania, only 35 are still alive despite rescue efforts that were to continue Thursday
8:00PM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Khmer Rouge tribunal ending work after 16 years, 3 judgments
An international court convened in Cambodia to judge the brutalities of the Khmer Rouge regime that caused the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people in the 1970s is ending its work after taking 16 years to convict just three men of crimes
11:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
Puerto Ricans desperate for water after Fiona's rampage
More than a half million people in Puerto Rico remain without water service three days after after Hurricane Fiona slammed the U.S. territory
11:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
GLIMPSES: On fringes of UN perimeter, placards and protests
Inside the grand hall of the United Nations, the world’s leaders are convening this week
9:40PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Fugitive in massive Navy bribery case caught in Venezuela
A Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated one of the largest bribery scandals in U.S. military history has been arrested in Venezuela
12:24AM ( 15 minutes ago )
AP: Probe finds evidence of bank boss' romance with top aide
Investigators say they found evidence a former Trump official who heads Latin America’s biggest development bank carried on a romantic relationship with his chief of staff
12:11AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Puerto Rico struggles to reach areas cut off by Fiona
Hurricane Fiona left dozens of families stranded across Puerto Rico after smashing roads and bridges, with authorities still struggling to reach people four days after the storm smacked the U.S. territory, causing historic flooding
12:10AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Drowning island nations: 'This is how a Pacific atoll dies'
Heads of state from Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands have launched a “Rising Nations Initiative” as they race toward solutions to a rising ocean level that will make their countries all but uninhabitable in the coming decades
12:06AM ( 34 minutes ago )
White House hosts local officials, touts impact of policies
The White House is reaching out to local governments
12:05AM ( 35 minutes ago )