India’s position on the Ukraine conflict: Gaining global support

They included India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia. 24 countries voted against the proposal. So if 93 countries had voted to expel Russia from the Human Rights Council, 82 countries did not.

International opinion was further divided over the November 2022 UN General Assembly, which called on Russia to pay reparations. 94 countries supported the resolution, but 73 abstained, including Brazil, India and South Africa, and 14 voted against.

As past history shows, General Assembly numbers do not really serve as a barometer of international support for an issue or isolation, or of a country’s international status. For decades, similar resolutions, in which the vast majority of members voted overwhelmingly against Israel, have neither resolved the Arab-Israeli dispute nor led to Israel’s isolation.

To take a recent example, in December 2023, 151 countries voted against Israel on a resolution demanding an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza, but this and many previous resolutions have had no significant impact on the way on which countries have conducted their bilateral relations with Israel. The world has treated Israel regardless of its rights and wrongs.

No comment sums up the global reaction better than Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment to President Vladimir Putin at the SCO Summit in Samarkand in September 2022. The comment was welcomed on both sides of the aisle.