I have a point of order to raise before we proceed with the agenda item 5 of the 11th emergency special session.
We would like to propose that the General Assembly adopts a decision confirming that the General Assembly will apply Rule 87(b) of the Rules of Procedure when action is taken on the resolution L.5, and that action will not be taken by a secret ballot.
The reason for this proposed decision is that Russia has circulated a proposal to all member states formally requesting that action on the resolution be through a secret ballot. In the interest of avoiding confusion, the General Assembly should clarify this issue now.
Russia’s proposal is an attempt to threaten transparency in the General Assembly.
Wouldn’t we all want transparency from the international community if a neighboring country invaded and attempted to annex a portion of our territory?
Would any Member State of the General Assembly support a secret ballot if it was their own territory that someone was trying to annex?
The Russian Federation is citing as precedent a 1977 decision to hold a secret ballot in the UN GA. That decision only applies to the narrow choice of the venue for a UN session. In fact, the rest of the resolution was not decided by secret ballot. Indeed, it was adopted by consensus.
The decision that Russian Federation cites is not applicable as precedent. A decision on a “venue” is similar to a decision to elect Member States or individuals to UN Bodies, which are held by secret ballot.
There is no precedent for the General Assembly to hold a secret ballot on a non-venue issue. Let alone on an important question of international peace and security.
For the entire history of the UN, substantive resolutions, such as the one we have before us today, have been held by a recorded vote, as provided in the Rules of Procedure.
Therefore, there is no basis for suspending the rules of procedure on voting.
We should not play with words and should not establish dangerous precedents. Even if it is legally possible to suspend the rules of procedure, it is entirely unjustified for this resolution.
To conduct a secret ballot on a General Assembly decision would go against decades of precedent and undermine the practices of the world’s most representative deliberative body.
In this case we request all Member States to vote in favor of our proposed decision, to confirm that Rule 87(b) will apply when action is taken on the draft resolution L.5, and that action will not be taken by secret ballot, of course if there are any objections to our proposal