New York, 3 March 2022 (TDI): Ambassador Munir Akram, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, (UN) delivered a statement at the 11th Emergency Special Session (ESS) of the UN General Assembly.

The Emergency Special Session has been convened to resolve the Ukraine Crisis after Russia launched a military operation in the country on 24th February. Following is the text of the statement:

Pakistan is committed to the fundamental principles of the UN Charter: self-determination of peoples, non-use or threat of use of force, sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, and pacific settlement of disputes.

Equally, Pakistan upholds the principle of equal and indivisible security for all. These principles must be consistently and universally respected. Pakistan remains deeply concerned at the recent turn of events. This reflects a failure of diplomacy.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has regretted the latest situation between Russia and Ukraine and said that Pakistan had hoped that diplomacy could avert military conflict.

We have since repeatedly stressed the need for de-escalation, renewed negotiations, sustained dialogue, and continuous diplomacy.

All efforts must be made to avoid further escalation of violence and loss of life as well as military, political and economic tensions which can pose an unprecedented threat to international peace and security and global economic stability.

As consistently underlined by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the developing countries are hit the hardest economically by conflict anywhere.

We hope the talks initiated between representatives of the Russian Federation and Ukraine will succeed in bringing about a cessation of hostilities and normalization of the situation.

A diplomatic solution in accordance with relevant multilateral agreements, international law, and the provisions of the UN Charter is indispensable.

Pakistan also supports all efforts to provide humanitarian relief to civilians in the affected areas.

The Government of Pakistan is most concerned about the safety and welfare of Pakistani citizens and students in Ukraine. The majority of them have been evacuated.

Those who remain will be evacuated soonest. We appreciate the cooperation of the Ukrainian authorities as well as the Polish, Romanian and Hungarian governments in this context.

Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Amidst arising uncertainty, the attention of the entire world is fixated on Russia and Ukraine as on 24th February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine at the behest of its Security Council that convened a day before.

Prior to this, a day before, Russia also recognized the Republics of the Luhansk and Donetsk, much to the West’s chagrin. The Donetsk and Luhansk are a part of the Donbas region that is pro-Russia territory.

Recently, Western countries had been alleging Russia about troops’ deployment on the border of Ukraine. However, Russia had been denying the allegations by claiming that it has no intention to invade Ukraine.

One of the main issues of contention between Russia and the EU/US is NATO’s beefed-up defenses in northeastern Europe and Ukraine’s intent to join NATO. A series of negotiations were held between Russian and Western counterparts to avert escalation. Though, that indelibly failed.

According to Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s stance regarding Ukraine is a matter of principle. In this context, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that if attempts to come to terms on mutually acceptable principles fail, Russia will adopt an appropriate response.

Au contraire, the Ukrainian authorities had been alerting the world about a possible invasion. Throughout 2021 and 2022, Russia and the West had been engaged in a diplomatic tussle related to Ukraine.

The West kept accusing Russia of a military buildup on the border of Ukraine whilst Russia kept objecting to NATO’s expansionist agenda that is considered a threat to its strategic security.

Consequently, tensions escalated between the two countries and led to strained bilateral relations. Moreover, despite the United States and EU sending strong messages to warn Russia, the threat of economic isolation couldn’t deter Russia to compromise on what it considers its national interest.