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IMO roll-call vote adopts resolution against Russian Federation
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IMO roll-call vote adopts resolution against Russian Federation

Majority votes in favour of TCC resolution

INTERNATIONAL: Following the decision to postpone the roll-call vote requested by the Russian Federation on Friday, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Assembly today undertook to finalise a decision on whether to adopt a resolution put forward by the Technical Cooperation Committee that condemns the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territories as well as the resultant impact on international shipping in the region, maritime infrastructure and global food security.

Before proceeding with the vote, several Member States reiterated the sentiments expressed on Friday, highlighting the significant impact on international shipping created by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The Ukrainian delegation emphasised that the incident is not isolated to the most recent full-scale invasion that was initiated in February last year, but includes escalating hostility that dates back to 2014. They also noted the disruption of the Sea Grain Initiative which had sought to mitigate the impact of food scarcity by establishing a protected shipping route for exports of grain.

Ukraine is seeking an urgent needs assessment as well as the establishment of technical cooperation to support their efforts to implement IMO instruments within a special maritime corridor that aims to maintain existing supply chains of critical goods by sending an IMO-led technical assistance mission to support authorities in facilitating the restoration of an unimpeded flow of international navigation, ensuring and monitoring the safety and security of ships that are using the Ukrainian special maritime corridor and of the Ukrainian port infrastructure.

Following Ukraine’s statement, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Georgia, Norway, Australia, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Moldovia and Korea all expressed their support for Ukraine’s request.

In a strongly worded retort, Russia contended that the resolution was a “weakly developed document” that was based on misinformation and that procedures should not be ignored to favour one Member State.

Russia also contended that the decisions by the IMO Council and other committees referred to in the resolution were neither described nor properly explained, and that they should be examined individually.

The delegation, however, insisted that the discussion should not be drawn out further and that a roll-call vote be taken immediately.

Belarus and the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea then issued statements in support of Russia’s position that the TCC’s resolution should not be adopted.

Before proceeding with the vote, clarification sought to confirm whether Member States were voting for the actual adoption of the resolution or to pass it for further discussion. Initial discussions seemed to indicate that further discussion was being sought, but the Russian Federation interjected to stipulate that the vote should be to decide whether the resolution would be adopted and that no further discussion was needed in this regard.

Having been drawn to kickstart the voting process in which Member States could vote either Yes, No or Abstain – Madagascar cast the initial vote. Live streaming for the roll-call vote was, however, terminated.

On resumption of the broadcast, the motion to adopt the resolution was carried with a majority of 46 votes in favour and nine against. According to the rules of procedure, only the yes and no votes are considered in the total count of the vote.

Not considered were the 48 absent Member States as well as the 66 Member States that chose to abstain from voting.

CAPTION Newly elected Vice President of the IMO Assembly, Saida Muna Tasnim, Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the IMO and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom delivers the results of the roll-call vote. (SOURCE: YouTube Streaming).

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