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UN to hold more meetings this week on Ukraine war

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The United Nations will have multiple meetings this week about Russia’s war in Ukraine, though it is unclear if they will lead to the adoption of an official text, diplomats said.

On Monday, the Security Council will discuss the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Polish foreign minister Zbigniew Rau is expected to speak during the session, one of the diplomatic sources told AFP Saturday.

Although this is an annual meeting, it will place special focus on the war in Ukraine and will likely see fresh calls for peace.

For two weeks, a French-Mexican draft resolution on humanitarian aid has been debated by some council members. Members originally hoped to vote on the text in early March, but a date for a vote has not yet been set.

On Friday, China’s ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun told AFP he had not yet seen a finalized text.

According to the draft version, obtained by AFP, the council would deplore “the dire humanitarian consequences of the hostilities against Ukraine.”

The body would demand an “immediate cessation of hostilities,” particularly all attacks on civilians.

The text would also require the protection of civilians, including humanitarian personnel and “persons in vulnerable situations” such as children.

The draft is at risk of being vetoed by Russia, which has been rejecting all political texts, according to diplomats — some of whom have suggested the draft be submitted directly to the UN General Assembly.

There is no veto power in the larger forum, but resolutions passed by the assembly are not binding like those passed by the Council.

On March 2, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution that “deplores” Russia’s invasion of its neighbor and “demands” the immediate withdrawal of troops.

A total of 141 countries voted in favor of the resolution and five against, with 35 abstaining.

In addition, the Security Council may finally meet on human rights violations, according to diplomats.

The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Britain’s Karim Khan, who would attend such a meeting, urged Friday for the parties in Ukraine not to use heavy weapons in populated areas.

The ICC, based in the Hague, was created in 2002 to try individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Ukraine did not sign the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty, but in 2014 Kyiv recognized the court’s jurisdiction over crimes committed in its territory.

Moscow withdrew its signature from the Rome Statute in 2016, meaning Russians can only be prosecuted if they are arrested within the territory of a country that respects the ICC’s jurisdiction.


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