Kathmandu: In yet another step of solidarity with Ukraine, which has been under the military invasion of Russia for the last few days, Nepal voted in favor of Ukraine in the United Nations emergency meeting on Tuesday.
Nepal voted in favor of Ukraine’s call at the United Nations Human Rights Council for urgent debate on gross violation of human rights in the country following invasion by Russia.
Both of Nepal’s neighbors and major development partners–China and India–have abstained from supporting Ukraine in this major crisis. Both China and India abstained in the United Nations Security Council procedural voting on February 28.
On Tuesday, China stood against Ukraine’s call while India abstained.
Nepal voted in favor of holding an urgent debate at the United Nations Human Rights Council while China voted against and India chose to abstain.
Nepal, however, has consistently stood in favor of Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24.
Issuing a statement on Thursday, Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs opposed Russian invasion on Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke in favor of the sovereignty of Nepal. “As a member of the United Nations, Nepal views that the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity as enshrined in the UN Charter are sacrosanct and must be fully respected by all member states,” Foreign Ministry said. Nepal also opposed recognition of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions as independent entities by Russia saying that it goes contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter.
Nepal opposes any use of force against a sovereign country in any circumstance and believes in a peaceful resolution of disputes through diplomacy and dialogue, the statement added.
While some see Nepal’s position on Ukraine as a deviation from principle of neutrality, critics argue that Nepal has taken the right position in favor of peace, justice and humanity.
“It is a very appropriate decision and welcome move by the Deuba government that has adopted an independent foreign policy based on the Charter of the United Nations, non-alignment, principles of Panchasheel, international law, and the norms of world peace.” said Geja Sharma Wagle, a foreign policy scholar.
According to him, the value of neutrality does not mean that Nepal should remain silent on the invasion of small and fragile states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. “It is a significant and bold decision of Nepal to express solidarity with Ukraine at a time when its powerful neighbors, both India and China, are following dubious and dual policy even in such important issues like sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights and peace,” said Wagle.