Ukraine crisis: ‘Fiji should openly condemn Russia for its armed aggression’ – Kotobalavu


As a sovereign state and as a member of the United Nations, Fiji should openly express its strong support for Ukraine and its people and openly condemn Russia for its armed aggression and flagrant breach of international law.

This is the opinion of Jioji Kotobalavu who lectures in Public Law and in International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Fiji’s School of Law.

He is also a former permanent secretary to three of Fiji’s former prime ministers.

Kotobalavu said the Fijian Government should authorise Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations to make a statement to convey in no uncertain terms, Fiji’s strong condemnation of Russia’s invasion and our strong support for Ukraine and its people.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a direct breach of Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter,” said Kotobalavu.

“This prohibits any state from using force or the threat of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of any state.

“Last week, the security council which is responsible under the charter for the maintenance of international peace and security, failed to agree on collective international action against Russia under Chapter VII of the charter.

“This was because Russia, as a permanent member, used its power of veto to oppose any action by the security council.”

Kotobalavu said because of the failure by the Security Council, the UN General Assembly would be convening a special session this week to allow the close to 200 member states of the UN to express their concern about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“A resolution setting out a general declaration by the UN General Assembly has no binding effect under international law.

“However, it will be a powerful demonstration to Russia of overwhelming global condemnation of its unwarranted and unlawful invasion of Ukraine,” he said.