| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

GCC countries urge upholding international law to resolve Ukraine crisis

On the eve of the Ukrainian war anniversary, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries have called for adherence to the principles of international law and the UN Charter, particularly the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and the non-interference in their international affairs, and respect for good neighborliness.

Mohamed Al-Hassan, Oman’s permanent representative to the UN, said that the GCC countries, which include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, are following with concern developments in the Ukraine, especially the humanitarian crisis “in light of the increase in the number of refugees and displaced people, the loss of civilian lives, particularly women and children, in addition to the damage inflicted on infrastructure.”

His remarks, on behalf of the GCC, came at an emergency session of the UN General Assembly to mark the anniversary of the start of the war. Member states are expected to vote on a resolution underscoring “the need to reach, as soon as possible, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

The resolution, drafted by the EU, calls for an end to hostilities and demands Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine. Voting will likely take place on Thursday, after a series of speeches by representatives from more than 80 countries.

Al-Hassan highlighted Article Two of the UN Charter, which stipulates that member states must settle their disputes by peaceful means, and refrain from using or threatening to use force in international relations.

“The GCC countries affirm that the solution to disputes and disagreements lies in resorting to dialogue and negotiations and resolving disputes and differences through peaceful and diplomatic means,” Al-Hassan said.

The GCC member states have cordial relations with all parties, the Omani envoy said.

“We therefore encourage international and regional efforts to resolve this issue in accordance with the international law and based on the principles of the UN United Nations and its charter.”

Commending efforts made by countries hosting refugees, as well as the “relentless efforts of the UN and humanitarian organizations to promptly respond to urgent civilian needs,” the GCC called on “all parties to abide by their obligations in accordance with the international law and the international humanitarian law with regards to the protection of civilians by refraining from targeting, or destroying any civilian facility.”

Al-Hassan also called for honoring international humanitarian law on wounded prisoners of war and missing persons, and to facilitate rapid and safe access to humanitarian assistance for all those in need, and to respect and protect medical and humanitarian workers.

Al-Hassan also thanked the UN secretary-general, “and all parties involved for their significant and valuable efforts to ensure the success of the Black Sea Grain initiative which helped in restoring stability to prices and food security for many countries, mainly developing countries, which are in dire need of these grains and crops.”

The Omani ambassador concluded by expressing hope that the initiative will be renewed in March.

  • Arab News