Singapore’s Ambassador Burhan Gafoor was approached by Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya, who got up from his seat and walked over to give his Singaporean counterpart a hug.
The incident took place during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly emergency meeting on Monday, Feb. 28.
The 193-member UN General Assembly was called upon to vote for a draft resolution to condemn Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The Singaporean ambassador, who is 56 years old this year, had just given a speech in which he said the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a “clear and gross violation” of the fundamental norms of international law and the UN Charter.
He added that Singapore is a staunch supporter of the rules-based multilateral system and of the UN, and the country has always taken a consistent position on the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries.
Gafoor said emphatically: “This is why Singapore condemns in the strongest terms possible any unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country under any pretext.”
Watch the hug
S’pore UN ambassador hugged by Ukrainian UN ambassdor after speech supporting Ukraine https://t.co/n5BqlENp5X pic.twitter.com/yKj55cOES7
— Mothership.sg (@MothershipSG) March 1, 2022
The emergency meeting took place after Russia vetoed a resolution condemning its invasion of Ukraine in the 15-member UNSC on Friday, Feb. 25.
Russia has veto powers as it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
You can watch Singapore’s Ambassador Burhan Gafoor’s speech here at the 3-hour 17-minute 15-second mark.
You can watch the moment the hug happened here at the 3-hour 12-minute 36-second mark.
Singapore is one of the co-sponsors of the draft resolution to be tabled before the General Assembly.
The draft resolution expected to be put to a vote on March 2.
Gafoor urged all members of the General Assembly to vote “yes”.
He said it is about upholding international law and the principles of the UN Charter.
The resolution requires two-thirds support from General Assembly members for it to be adopted.
General Assembly resolutions are non-binding but carry political significance in highlighting positions on the issues being considered.
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