India abstains at UNHRC vote on extension to panel probing war crimes in Ukraine.

India was among 17 countries that abstained in a vote at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on extending the mandate of an investigative body probing allegations of war crimes during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The resolution related to Ukraine was among 43 resolutions adopted during the UNHRC’s 52nd regular session to extend 19 thematic and country-specific mandates. India has traditionally abstained on votes related to human rights issues at UN bodies.

With 28 votes in favour, the UNHRC extended the mandate of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine for one year. Two countries – China and Eritrea – voted against the resolution, which Ukraine said is essential for holding Russia accountable for war crimes.

Among the 17 countries that abstained were Bangladesh, Cuba, Pakistan and South Africa. Last year, India abstained twice during voting on UNHRC resolutions against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In February last year, India had also abstained from on a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Russian aggression.

India has refrained from publicly censuring the Russian invasion of Ukraine though it has called for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. The Indian side has called for the immediate end of hostilities and a return to diplomacy and dialogue to settle differences.

The Indian side voted in favour of a resolutions at the UNHRC that called on Israel to end its occupation of territories occupied since 1967, to reverse the settlement policy in occupied territories, and to immediately stop establishing new settlements and expansion of existing settlements, including in East Jerusalem.

It also voted in favour of a resolution that backed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, though it abstained on another resolution on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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