Tag Archives: Ukraine

Time to negotiate end to ‘unwinnable’ war in Ukraine, Guterres declares

It’s time for a diplomatic solution to be found to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, amidst signs of hope that progress can be made to end an “unwinnable” and “indefensible” war, said the UN chief on Tuesday.

António Guterres briefed journalists outside the Security Council in New York, telling them from his own outreach efforts with “various actors”, “elements of diplomatic progress are coming into view on several key issues.”

“This war is unwinnable”, he said, in a stark message to Russia. “Sooner or later, it will have to move from the battlefield to the peace table. This is inevitable.

“The only question is: How many more lives must be lost?

Early WHO estimates indicate that the war has left 500,000 refugees with a mental disorder and around 30,000 with severe mental disorders, based on the experience of other conflict settings. More

International Court orders Russia to ‘immediately suspend’ military operations in Ukraine

Russia must immediately suspend military operations in Ukraine, the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on Wednesday, in The Hague.

By a vote of 13 to two, with Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian of Russia and Judge Xue Hanqin of China dissenting, the ICJ ruled that Russia “shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February.”

The court’s ruling – the first such verdict handed down by the ‘world court’ since the Russian invasion began – is in response to a suit filed by Ukraine on 27 February, accusing Russia of manipulating the concept of genocide to justify its military aggression.

In a tweet shortly after the ruling, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the majority decision “fully reinforces my repeated appeals for peace.” More

Ukraine: ‘We need peace now’ declares Guterres, warning of global hunger meltdown

Ukraine is being “decimated before the eyes of the world” with Russia’s military offensive against civilians “reaching terrifying proportions”, said the UN chief on Monday, warning that a resulting meltdown of the global economy is provoking a hunger crisis that is hitting the poorest, hardest.

Secretary-General António Guterres addressed correspondents outside the Security Council chamber in New York, and said that with each passing hour in Ukraine, the death and destruction is getting worse: “Whatever the outcome, this war will have no winners, only losers.”

For predators and human traffickers, war is not a tragedy. It’s an opportunity. And women and children are the targets. They need safety and support every step of the way. I will continue to highlight the desperate plight of the people of Ukraine as I am doing again today.” More

To attack babies is ‘an act of unconscionable cruelty’: UN top officials urge end to attacks on health care in Ukraine

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, 31 attacks on health care have been documented by the World Health Organization. These incidents have killed and injured civilians, as well as destroyed facilities and ambulances, disrupting access to essential health services.

“Today, we call for an immediate cessation of all attacks on health care in Ukraine. These horrific attacks are killing and causing serious injuries to patients and health workers, destroying vital health infrastructure, and forcing thousands to forgo accessing health services despite catastrophic needs”, the heads of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Population Found (UNFPA) declared in a joint statement published on Sunday.

The agencies’ leaders said that to attack the most vulnerable – babies, children, pregnant women, and those suffering from illness and disease, as well as health workers risking their safety to save lives – is “an act of unconscionable cruelty”. More

Ukraine: World must unite in face of Russia’s ‘violation of international law’

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine compels Member States of the United Nations to unite in “cooperation and solidarity” to support all those impacted “and to overcome this violation of international law” said Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday, addressing the General Assembly in New York.

The UN chief was speaking at a meeting on enhancing international cooperation – part of the landmark Our Common Agenda blueprint for multilateralism and collective action going forward, launched last year.

It was the fifth and final Assembly-led consultation, and Mr. Guterres thanked all Member States for their “constructive and active engagement” together with all other stakeholders who have contributed to the themed discussions.

“This conflict also calls on us to come together in cooperation and solidarity to support everyone affected, and to overcome this violation of international law”, he added. More

UN refugee chief praises European response to Ukraine exodus

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has praised European countries welcoming people fleeing the war in Ukraine, whose numbers now surpass two million. 

“The response by Europe has been remarkable,” Filippo Grandi said in a statement on Tuesday, while urging other nations to step up.

He added that a European Union (EU) temporary protection directive, announced last Thursday, “offers the refugees security and options, a chance for stability during a time of great upheaval.”

“All European states must continue to show generosity. Other countries, beyond Europe, also have an important role to play to help people in need and share the international responsibility for millions of refugees,” said Mr. Grandi. More

General Assembly holds emergency special session on Ukraine crisis

As fighting escalates in Ukraine, UN Member States met on Monday for a rare emergency special session of the General Assembly to discuss the crisis.  

Assembly President Abdulla Shahid underscored that the military offensive launched by Russia five days ago was a violation of the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

Addressing the UN membership, Secretary-General António Guterres stated that the fighting in Ukraine must stop.

The bombardment of cities such as the capital, Kyiv, has forced people to seek shelter, including in subway stations.   Roughly half a million Ukrainians have also crossed the country’s borders.

More

Ukraine Crisis: Protecting civilians ‘Priority Number One’; Guterres releases $20M for humanitarian support

Russian military operations inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine “on a scale that Europe has not seen in decades, conflict directly with the United Nations Charter,” Secretary-General António Guterres told journalists on Thursday.

Despite a sustained UN-led and international diplomatic push to avert military action in Ukraine, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin did just that – triggering a barrage of reactions, beginning with the UN chief, condemning the move and appealing for peace.

“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,” he said, quoting the Charter.

“Today I am announcing that we will immediately allocate $20 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to meet urgent needs,” he flagged, reiterating that the UN and its humanitarian partners are “committed to staying and delivering, to support people in Ukraine in their time of need”. More

Secretary-General’s remarks at press encounter following the Security Council meeting on Ukraine

SG: This is the saddest moment in my tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations. I started this meeting of the Security Council addressing President Putin and telling him from the bottom of my heart: Stop your troops from an offensive against Ukraine, give peace a chance because too many people have died.

During the meeting President Putin announced a ‘special military operation’ in the Donbas and required the Ukrainian troops to lay down their arms. So, in the present circumstances I must change my appeal.

I must say, President Putin: In the name of humanity bring your troops back to Russia. In the name of humanity do not allow to start in Europe what could be the worst war since the beginning of the century, with consequences not only devastating for Ukraine, not only tragic for the Russian Federation, but with an impact we cannot even foresee in relation to the consequences for the global economy in a moment when we are emerging from the COVID [pandemic] and so many developing countries absolutely need to have space for the recovery which would be very, very difficult, with the high prices of oil, with the end of exports of wheat from Ukraine, and with the rising interest rates caused by instability in international markets.

This conflict must stop – now. Thank you very much. Continue reading

Secretary-General’s remarks at Security Council meeting on Ukraine

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Mr. President, Excellencies.

I want to reaffirm what I expressed this morning in the meeting in the General Assembly, but of course it would not make any sense to bother you reading again the same text that I am sure you are all aware of.

In between, during the day, a number of events took place, and with your permission, Mr. President, I would like to ask Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo to be able to brief you on those events.

But simultaneously, today was full of rumours and indications that an offensive against Ukraine was imminent. In the recent past, there were several situations with similar indications, similar rumours. And I never believed in them, convinced that nothing serious would happen.  I was wrong.  And I would like not to be wrong again today.

So, if indeed an operation is being prepared, I have only one thing to say from the bottom of my heart: President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died.

New York

23 February 2022