Nepal likely to abstain in UN voteNepal is likely to abstain from voting on Thursday when the UN General Assembly is expected to vote on a draft resolution on Ukraine
The draft resolution,circulated Monday to the 193 assembly members, urges all parties to pursue a peaceful resolution of the situation in Ukraine, "refrain from unilateral actions and inflammatory rhetoric that may increase tensions, and to engage fully with international mediation efforts."
As diplomatic pressure from the west mounts on Nepal to vote in favour of Ukraine's proposal, the government has decided to skip the voting, saying that it will look into its national interest first before making a decision on the vote. Nepal's two giant neighbours India and China—whose vote and position count in UN General Assembly—are in different boats on the issue.
India has made its position clear that it believes Russia has "legitimate interests" in Ukraine—a position that is opposed to the stand of the west on the latest crisis.
China, on the other hand, has been maintaining that Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected, calling for peaceful negotiation to resolve the dispute.
On Wednesday, ambassadors of Germany, France, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, UK and Finland held a meeting with Officiating Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi and solicited Nepal's position on Ukraine's crisis asking him to vote in favour of the resolution.
But conveying Nepal’s position on the issue, Bairagi hinted the visiting diplomats that the government is still gauzing the situation and closely following developments in New York and has not decided about the
A diplomatic source told the Post that the European diplomats “felt very distressed over the Nepal government’s position on Ukraine and concluded that Nepal is unlikely to vote in Ukraine’s favour.”
Not just Nepal, but many other nations are going to skip the voting, said Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey. “It is really difficult and pressing issue for us which has put us in diplomatic quandary. We are assessing the situation there and will take a final call by Thursday evening,” he said.
In his statement delivered to parliament on Wednesday, Pandey said: “It has been the principled position of the Government of Nepal that sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and non-interference in the internal affairs of any country must be fully respected and strictly adhered to in seeking solutions to all disputes.”
The government also urged all parties concerned to work towards the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine in accordance with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter as well as in compliance with international law, Pandey said in the House.
“Nepal calls on the international community to support the ongoing efforts of the UN Secretary General in ending the crisis peacefully and establishing the peace in the region,” said the statement.