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Right side of history

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After more than 100 countries spoke over two days of extraordinary debate, 141 nations voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution “deploring” Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and demanding the immediate and complete withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory.

The non-binding resolution from the full UNGA comes after Russia vetoed a similar resolution in the 15-member UN Security Council, and serves as a powerful rebuke to Vladimir Putin’s Russia on the world stage and a marker of its isolation.

Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, claiming “self defense” under Article 51 of the UN Charter.

That atrocious claim has been roundly rejected by Western countries who accuse Moscow of violating Article 2 of the Charter, requiring UN members to refrain from the threat or use of force to resolve a crisis.

Nearly every General Assembly speaker Monday and Tuesday unreservedly condemned the war and the risks of military escalation. And although the response came almost a week after the invasion, the Philippines was thankfully among those nations who refused to shirk behind the skirt of neutrality in the face of Russia’s blatant act of unprovoked aggression.

Embattled Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the outcome of the vote, tweeting, “I’m grateful to everyone & every state that voted in favor. You have chosen the right side of history.”

In voting to support Ukraine, the Philippines affirms its commitment to “global freedom, democracy and rights” as well as chooses democracy over autocracy.

A popular saying goes, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Our country, along with most of the world, chose right when we joined the chorus against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That was a decision that shouldn’t have been so difficult to make.

As we ponder our votes for the upcoming Elections, let us choose leaders that are blessed with the moral compass that will allow them to always put our nation on the right side of history.*

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