MONROVIA: Against the backdrop of the decision of the government of Liberia to alter the recent vote cast against the humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza in the war between the State of Israel and the Hamas militant, a Liberian foreign policy expert has said that said move by the government could only reflect in subsequent resolutions but not the one that has already being cast and counted as part of the record of the United Nations General Assembly.
Speaking exclusively with The Analyst newspaper last evening, Mr. B. Elias Shoniyi, a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said in general once a country has cast its votes at the United Nations General Assembly, it is considered final for that particular session or resolution, stressing that the UNGA operates under the principle of sovereign equality and member states are entitled to one vote.
Providing an insight into how the voting process is conducted at the UN, Shoniyi said it typically involves a majority of member states expressing their support or opposition or abstention on a particular resolution and once a vote is cast it becomes binding on the member states.
“While there may be discussion and negotiation leading up to the poll, once the vote takes place, it is considered binding for that session. The outcome of the vote reflects the collective decision of the member states at that moment in time”, he said.
Shoniyi who is also the Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Policy at Cuttington University said however, it is essential to note that diplomatic dynamics are complex, and countries may engage in ongoing discussion, negotiation and consultation whatsoever and even after the votes, “but in summary I will say that while diplomatic discussion might involve, the former recorded vote at the UNGA is generally considered final for that session”
“Any changes in the country’s position like in the case of Liberia recently will typically be reflected in subsequent resolution or discussion rather than altering the outcome of the vote that was taken recently”, Shoniyi who was a 2019 Yale University Maurice R. Greenburg World Fellow said.
It can be recalled that President George Manneh Weah who said he has been receiving a lot of criticism from some people for the vote cast against ceasefire by Liberia at the United Nations General Assembly recently, pointed out it was not the earlier position of the government but “a wicked man” who was bent on discrediting his government and country went ahead and voted the way it went just to embarrass the government and its people.
In the wake of that, President Weah had directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make the necessary corrections so that Liberia’s position will reflect the majority view that supported and voted for ceasefire in the ongoing fierce war between Israel and Hamas.