Ukrainians, Russians and people far away need peace. Although the outlook may look bleak today, we must all work knowing that genuine, lasting peace must be based on the United Nations Charter and international law. The longer the fighting goes on, the harder this job will be. We don’t have a moment to lose.”
The UN Secretary General said that the passing of a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a dark milestone – for the Ukrainian people and the international community.
“That attack is an affront to our collective conscience. It violates the United Nations Charter and international law. It has dramatic humanitarian and human rights consequences. And the effects are felt far beyond Ukraine,” he added.
Guterres said Russia’s attack on Ukraine challenges the cornerstone principles and values of the multilateral system.
The Charter of the United Nations is unequivocal, he said: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. .”
The UN chief said that the General Assembly dealt in clear terms with the Russian Federation’s attempt to illegally annex four regions of Ukraine – Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk.
In doing so, the General Assembly affirmed long-standing principles of international law in the landmark Declaration of Friendly Relations of 1970. Namely, “the territory of a State shall not be subject to the possession of another State as a result of the threat or use of force.” and “no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force can be recognized as legitimate”.
He said that the UN’s position is clear. “
“We are committed to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” the UN chief added.
Guterres also stated that 40 percent of Ukrainians need humanitarian aid.
“Critical infrastructure has been targeted – water, energy and heating systems have been destroyed in the dark winter. United Nations agencies have also been working with host countries that took in more than 8 million Ukrainians in what is the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. War,” he said.
Last week, the United Nations launched a $5.6 billion humanitarian appeal to the people of Ukraine.
“I ask for your full support. I have visited Ukraine twice since the start of the war, where I heard evidence of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. In this conflict, as elsewhere, the United Nations is committed to ensuring justice and accountability,” Guterres said.
Speaking about the Black Sea Grain Initiative to promote global food security — supported by the Turkish government and the United Nations, he said: “Despite ongoing challenges, the initiative to send grain and other food from Ukraine is decisive. We are working hard to remove all remaining obstacles to the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UN Secretariat and the Russian Federation to facilitate the export of Russian food and fertilizers to the global market. This is also an important contribution to solving global food security. .”
Speaking about the serious threat associated with the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Guterres said: “I thank the International Atomic Energy Agency for the commitment of the parties to ensure the security of the region. The safety and security of all Ukrainians and the operation of the nuclear power plants must be guaranteed. The war will also increase regional instability and fuel global tensions and divisions while it diverts attention and resources away from other crises and urgent global problems. At the same time, we have heard implicit threats to use nuclear weapons. The so-called tactical use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable.”
Source: The Nordic Page