At the United Nations

U.S Manoeuvres to Embroil United Nations

On February 25, as was to be expected, Russia vetoed a resolution the U.S. tried to push through the UN Security Council (UNSC) that would have "deplored in the strongest terms the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine." The resolution also demanded that "The Russian Federation should immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine, and withdraw all its military forces immediately, completely, and unconditionally from that country's territory."

The resolution did not include any mention of Russia's security concerns as a result of U.S./NATO encirclement, huge military build-up, provocations and setting up Ukraine as a forward base against Russia. It again called for reliance on the Minsk agreements even though Ukraine failed to abide by them. And France and Germany, who along with Russia were also signatories, did nothing to make sure Ukraine did abide by them, even as it continued its murderous attacks against its own population in the Donbass.

Left: Photos of some of the 152 children killed by Ukrainian forces in the Donbass region since 2014. Right:  Kindergarten badly damaged by Ukrainian army shelling in the Kievsky district of Donetsk, March 2022.

China abstained when the U.S. presented its resolution to the Security Council saying it was a complex situation and the Council should respond "with great caution, with actions that defuse, not add fuel." Ambassador Zhang Jun stressed that the issue of Ukraine is not one that emerged today; nor did the current situation emerge suddenly overnight. Rather, it represents the interplay of various factors over a long period of time. The security of one country cannot come at the cost of that of another, he said adding that Ukraine should be a bridge between the East and the West, not an "outpost for major Powers."

The U.S. plan then became clear when it invoked a rarely used procedural measure to convene the General Assembly to debate "Russia's military operation in Ukraine" and then have the General Assembly vote on a similar resolution condemning Russia. Only 11 such emergency special sessions of the General Assembly have been convened since 1950 when the measure was adopted, including this latest one on Ukraine.

The procedural measure the U.S. used is resolution 377A(V), known as "Uniting for Peace," first introduced by the U.S. in 1950 during the Korean War. John Foster Dulles, the U.S. delegate to the UN at that time said the Korean War was a chief motivator in coming up with this procedural rule. The U.S. wanted the cover of UN support for its war of aggression against Korea and needed to prevent a Soviet veto. At the time the Soviet Union was boycotting procedures to protest the refusal to recognize the representatives of the People's Republic of China as the legitimate representatives of China. China had yet to take its seat at the UN due to strong opposition by the U.S., who demanded the same from other Security Council members.

The "Uniting for Peace" resolution states, "If the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security."

It is noteworthy that the U.S. generally has not bothered to get UN approval for its wars of aggression and illegal actions against myriad countries over the last thirty years. When it does seek it, such as with its performance at the UN concerning Iraq, its failure to secure it has little meaning as it proceeds with its wars of aggression anyway. The U.S. often acts unilaterally, creates so-called coalitions of the willing and repeatedly tramples in the mud the UN Charter and international rule of law. Further it is trying to impose its own so-called rules-based system -- where it gets to make up the rules, change the rules, decide who is and is not following these rules and the punishment for any it declares "illegal" or "terrorist."

U.S. "shock and awe" bombardment of Baghdad, Iraq during its 2003 invasion, March 2003. 

In the case of Ukraine, the U.S. and NATO countries claim all is done in the name of the UN Charter and Conventions. The Security Council resolution regarding Ukraine which Russia vetoed, for example, refers to the Charter requiring "an obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State." The entire history of the U.S. is one of violating this obligation with its wars of aggression against Korea, Vietnam, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, and its interference, coups, and assassinations to secure regime change in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Its aim now is not to meet its obligations under the UN Charter and international law, but to drag the UN into approving its striving for world domination and claim of moral superiority. The problems in Ukraine and conflict between Ukraine and Russia will not be resolved in this manner. Having the UN approve U.S. actions undermines UN authority while further adding fuel to the crisis.

Comments by the U.S. make clear it was also seeking justification for yet more "extraordinary" measures. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, "By calling for an emergency special session of the General Assembly... [we] have recognized that this is no ordinary moment and that we need to take extraordinary steps to confront this threat to our international system." She stressed that such a meeting of the wider UN membership was important to make their voices heard on "Russia's war of choice." The U.S. does not want discussion to resolve the situation in a peaceful manner, with the UN assisting in this, but rather it wants to impose its dictate and justify further U.S./NATO interference.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 3 - March 6, 2022

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