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Namibia abstains from Ukraine vote

2014-03-31  Mathias Haufiku

Namibia abstains from Ukraine vote
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"WINDHOEK – Namibia chose to abstain from voting on the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the affirmation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and condemning Russia’s stance on Crimea, saying voting is not the solution. The parties involved in the Ukraine standoff should rather be given the chance to find a lasting solution of their own, is the Namibian standpoint.  On Thursday last week the UN passed a non-binding resolution that declared invalid the Crimea’s Moscow-backed referendum held earlier in March calling for the secession of Crimea from the Ukraine. Namibia did not participate in the voting, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah explaining yesterday that Namibia’s position is that all parties in the Ukraine standoff “be given a chance to solve their problems”. “Our abstention as Namibia is because we feel that stakeholders involved must be given a chance …,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah. There were 100 votes in favour, 11 against and 58 abstentions in the 193-nation assembly, with Namibia among the abstentions. Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe voted against the resolution. Along with Namibia, some of the other countries that abstained from voting include China, South Africa, Egypt, Lesotho, Mozambique, Pakistan, Zambia and Uganda. The more than half of the 193 UN member states’ support for the resolution is seen to reflect a widespread international opposition to Russia’s takeover of the strategic Black Sea region. Unlike the more powerful Security Council, resolutions in the General Assembly cannot be vetoed and are not legally binding. Last month Nandi-Ndaitwah told the National Assembly that the situation in the Ukraine has reached a level of uncertainty. “As things stand now, a coup has taken place in Ukraine. Namibia, guided by our constitution which underscores the value of democracy and the rule of law, does not support the forceful change of governments,” said the minister at the time and called on all roleplayers to “ensure that mechanisms are put in place to bring back democratic normalcy in Ukraine”.   By Mathias Haufiku"
2014-03-31  Mathias Haufiku

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