Monday 1 May 2023

Congress supports Ukraine but votes down composite motion

ATUC’s motion on Ukraine was merged into a Composite with motions from other affiliates. It called for an end to the supply of weaponry and for peace negotiations. However it was opposed by the STUC General Council who issued a counterposed  “Statement on Ukraine”.

The statement agreed the need for peace talks but did not believe that these could effectively take place if support for Ukraine was withdrawn as “implied by Composite Q”

On a show of hands the Composite was defeated, albeit with a substantial minority in favour.

Moving the composite, ATUC’s Mike Martin reminded delegates that on 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation launched a military intervention into Ukraine, marking a serious escalation of the civil war in Eastern Ukraine which broke out in early 2014.

“We oppose the unilateral use of force against any sovereign state in contravention of the United Nations Charter and international law.

“At the same time, we recognise that the current crisis is the outcome of a decades-long policy of eastward expansion of the NATO military alliance, the consequences of which were rightly warned against in advance by leading figures of the US foreign policy establishment.”

Mike said that today, we are witnessing how war breeds fear, hatred, and jingoism, with the flames often being fanned by our politicians and media institutions.

“This conflict has the potential to spiral out of control and bring the United States and Russia – the world’s two largest nuclear powers, who together account for 90% of all nuclear warheads – into direct conflict,” warned Mike.

“We urgently call on all parties to immediately pursue a diplomatic resolution of this conflict. Now more than ever, the priority is peace, a call supported by many across Europe and a majority in the Global South.

“In order to end this war and minimise the suffering and death of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, it is urgently necessary that we understand how we arrived at this moment – only then can we navigate our way out.”