Singapore co-sponsors resolution on human rights situation in Ukraine

Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Umej Bhatia said this is not about taking a side, but about taking a stand. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

GENEVA - Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Umej Bhatia said Singapore co-sponsored the resolution on the “situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression” tabled by Ukraine.

The resolution condemned human rights violations and abuses resulting from the continued Russian aggression against Ukraine, Ambassador Bhatia said in a statement delivered during an urgent debate at the ongoing 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday in Geneva.

It also called on Russia to immediately end such abuses and violations of international law.

The resolution had been co-sponsored by 66 countries, more than half of which are members of the Forum of Small States, including Singapore.

Any UN member state can co-sponsor a resolution, even if it is not a member of the rights council. Only members can, however, vote. More countries can sign on as sponsors up to two weeks after a resolution has been adopted.

“This is not about taking a side, but about taking a stand,” Mr Bhatia said.

The full statement is as follows:

Mr President,

Singapore has always taken a consistent and principled position in support of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries. All states, big or small, must observe international law and the principles of the UN Charter. For a small state like Singapore, this is an existential issue. Accordingly, we have always condemned in the strongest terms possible any unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country under any pretext.

The Russian Federation's military operations against Ukraine are in breach of international law. This unprovoked attack is a clear contravention of the principles of the UN Charter that heightens the risk of serious human rights violations.

We, like many others, are alarmed by reports of civilian casualties, displacement and destruction of civilian infrastructure.

No effort should be spared to protect the civilian population in Ukraine, and to ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need.

We strongly call upon Russia to immediately cease its military attacks against Ukraine, withdraw its forces and return to diplomacy to seek a peaceful settlement in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.

Given the unprecedented gravity of the situation, Singapore has decided to co-sponsor the resolution Ukraine has tabled on itself.

This is not about taking a side, but about taking a stand. This stand underlines Singapore's clear support, as a small state, for the key principles of sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries.

Thank you.

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