Political Solution Founded on International Law, Restoring Ukraine’s Territorial Integrity, Only Way to End War, General Assembly President Tells Delegates
Nine years after the Russian Federation’s illegal annexation of Crimea and 500 days after its invasion of Ukraine, the General Assembly met today to intensify its call for a peaceful end to a conflict that has killed and injured tens of thousands of people while scattering 6 million refugees across Europe and displacing millions more within Ukraine.
Many Assembly delegates urged each other to intensify efforts to bring both parties to the negotiating table, the only place where a war like this can end, just a day after the Russian Federation heightened food insecurity for millions of people by pulling out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, said a political solution, founded upon the Charter of the United Nations and international law, that restores Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, will end this war. “This war, like all wars, will end,” he said. “That it will end with a sovereign and independent Ukraine, and a sovereign and independent Russia. And that the Russian Federation and Ukraine will coexist as neighbours, as Member States within the same multilateral system.”
Argentina’s delegate called on all parties involved to return to the negotiating table. Her delegation is committed to the peaceful resolution of international disputes, observing: “It is only in this way that we guarantee just and lasting solutions.” Evidence suggests that there is stunted progress across various mediation attempts and she appealed for the resumption of political dialogue to calm tensions.
The representative of Liechtenstein said his country condemns all attempts to annex any part of Ukraine, noting that the Russian Federation’s full-scale aggression has only increased the importance of Crimea to Ukraine’s territorial integrity. “We must take an honest look at our past actions and omissions in this respect, as well as their consequences,” he stressed, underscoring that the Assembly’s meek response to the invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 has helped create the conditions for the full-scale invasion in 2022.
Albania’s delegate echoed that sentiment and recalled that, in 2008, as it tried to recover from the aftermath of the Berlin Wall’s fall, the Russian Federation occupied Georgia’s territory in a short, but brutal war. Six years later, “Russia would go again hunting, and its appetite would grow”, he said, observing that, in Crimea, Moscow planted its flag and said: “It’s mine.”
Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, stated that no figures can help people comprehend what is going on in his country. The Russian Federation does not mind the suffering of children “to achieve its sick political goals”, he stressed. The invasion has deprived 7.5 million Ukrainian children of their normal lives, displacing two thirds of them, killing at least 494 and injuring 1,052. In addition, the Russian Federation continues the mass abduction and deportation of children and Ukraine has identified 19,474 illegally transferred children, with only 383 returned and reunited with their families.
A further 8,800 civilians have become victims of enforced disappearances, with over 10,000 people considered missing. With no other modern conflict having seen such crimes on such a scale, he called for a new international instrument for punishing the abduction of civilians, further rejecting all calls for “fake pacifism” or territorial concessions for the illusion of peace.
The representative of the Russian Federation said that, if the “regime” that came to power in 2014 had not declared war on everything Russian and had not sent its forces to the east of the country, “we would not be discussing the Ukrainian crisis”. The 2014 coup was stage-managed by Western countries to make Ukraine “anti-Russia”, to arm it and to shift the conflict into a “hot phase”, he said, adding that the interest of the West lies in pitting two fraternal peoples against one another in the “colonial tradition” to prevent the Russian Federation’s re‑emergence as a global Power and delay a new multipolar world. He also pointed out that now Moscow has to solve the “special military operation’s” tasks by demilitarizing and “denazifying” the Kyiv “regime” to ensure that “never again there will be a threat to our country and our citizens, stemming from Ukraine”.
Syria’s delegate said regional and international conflicts should be settled through peaceful means and he rejected the negative trend of using the Assembly platform to engage in political polarization. The situation in Ukraine cannot be viewed apart from the security and political situation following the 2014 coup d’état and apart from the policies Ukraine has pursued vis-à-vis the Russian Federation, especially the principle of good neighbourliness. Western and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) policies have inflamed the conflict and exacerbated the humanitarian situation, he said, adding that these States turned a blind eye to the inhumane practices against the residents of Donbass.
Switzerland’s delegate urged the Russian Federation to abandon the elections announced for September in the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions, and voiced concerned over the humanitarian, ecological and economic consequences of the Kakhovka Dam’s destruction, especially on water supply in southern Ukraine. “Let us act to make comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine a reality,” she emphasized.
The General Assembly will next meet at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 19 July , to take up the use of the veto by a permanent member of the Security Council at its 11 July meeting on the agenda item “Situation in the Middle East”.
CSABA KŐRÖSI (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, said the organ is gathering today for a “regular and scheduled” debate that is far from regular, pointing to more than 500 days of war, tens of thousands of deaths, scores of thousands of injured, almost 6 million refugees scattered across Europe and more than 6 million internally displaced people facing an uncertain future. “Is this what it means ‘to uphold’ the UN Charter? Is this what it means to ‘refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State’?” he said. The fundamental principles of the international community have been violated for 17 months and the relentless acts of warfare severely undermine trust in and within our institutions.
While the Security Council has failed to adopt a single resolution related to the conflict, the Assembly has convened emergency special sessions and passed six resolutions, condemning aggression and annexation, and affirming its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The war’s impact goes far beyond its scale and is intrinsically linked to sustainable development, he added.
He acknowledged the critical importance of the Black Sea Grain Initiative — a lifeline to millions of people around the globe — and applauded the tireless efforts of the Secretary-General and Türkiye over the past 12 months. He deeply regretted the Russian Federation’s decision to not extend this vital instrument. “I implore all parties to come together in dialogue and diplomacy to restart negotiations, for it is always the most vulnerable who suffer the consequences,” he said. In addition, the threat of a nuclear catastrophe looms ominously with Europe’s largest nuclear power plant located in an active conflict zone, posing grave, imminent danger far beyond the region. He strongly supported the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and urged Member States to recommit to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. A political solution, founded upon the Charter of the United Nations and international law, that restores Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, will end this war. “This war, like all wars, will end,” he said. “That it will end with a sovereign and independent Ukraine, and a sovereign and independent Russia. And that the Russian Federation and Ukraine will coexist as neighbours, as Member States within the same multilateral system.”
DMYTRO KULEBA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, stated that no figures can help people comprehend what is going on in the country. Reading from the wartime diaries of Ukrainian children, he quoted one from inside blockaded Mariupol, who wrote that his grandfather died, he had a wound on back, and his sister had a head wound. One Ukrainian girl wrote in February 2022 that “it is scary to think how many people I know may soon die,” while her mother told her not to go for a walk where there are no people because “many girls get raped”. Another girl was hiding in a basement in an occupied village and was afraid that Russian Federation soldiers might rape her. She called her father, who attempted to rescue her, but soldiers opened fire on his car and killed him in front of her — for which she blamed herself.
The Russian Federation does not mind the suffering of children “to achieve its sick political goals”, he stressed. The invasion has deprived 7.5 million Ukrainian children of their normal lives, displacing two thirds of them, killing at least 494 and injuring 1,052. In addition, the Russian Federation continues the mass abduction and deportation of children, “a disgusting, heinous and genocidal crime for which [President Vladimir] Putin and his children’s rights commissioner are already wanted by the International Criminal Court”. Ukraine has identified 19,474 illegally transferred children, with only 383 returned and reunited with their families. He demanded that Russian Federation authorities immediately provide a list of them and grant access by international human rights and monitoring missions. A further 8,800 civilians have become victims of enforced disappearances, with over 10,000 people considered missing. With no other modern conflict having seen such crimes on such a scale, he called for a new international instrument for punishing the abduction of civilians, further rejecting all calls for “fake pacifism” or territorial concessions for the illusion of peace.
DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said that, if the “regime” that came to power in 2014, had not declared war on everything Russian and had not sent its forces to the east of the country, “we would not be discussing the Ukrainian crisis”. Noting that Russian-speaking citizens amounted to 40 per cent in 2014, he said: “Is demanding the right to speak in your own language really anything unlawful?” The 2014 coup was stage-managed by Western countries to make Ukraine “anti-Russia”, to arm it and to shift the conflict into a “hot phase”, he said, adding that the interest of the West lies in pitting two fraternal peoples against one another in the “colonial tradition” to prevent the Russian Federation’s re-emergence as a global Power and delay a new multipolar world.
“Where is Ukraine’s interest in all this?,” he inquired, noting that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will leave behind him corruption and a rampant totalitarian dictatorship. “We continue to see Ukrainians as brothers and sisters,” he added, noting that Moscow is prepared to live in good neighbourly peace and harmony. The Russian Federation has never set itself a task to destroy Ukrainian identity and “Russify” the country, he stressed, emphasizing: “We were perfectly happy with it, the way it was.” While Ukraine was made to believe, that with Western weapons, it would be able to defeat Moscow, he said, that, if peace depended on ordinary Ukrainians, rather than on a “puppet regime in Kiev”, there would have been peace long ago. He also pointed out that now Moscow has to solve the special military operation’s tasks by demilitarizing and denazifying the Kyiv “regime” to ensure that “never again there will be a threat to our country and our citizens, stemming from Ukraine”.
PÉTER SZIJJÁRTÓ, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, said his country has paid a high price with this war, including with inflated food and energy prices and the loss of lives. There is a Hungarian community of about 150,000 living in Ukraine and some have been mobilized into that country’s armed forces and died. “This war is bad, this war is brutal,” he said, adding the international community must work to find a solution. Yet, as a neighbouring country, he said a solution will not be found on the battlefield. “It must be around the negotiating table,” he said. “Yesterday was a very late day to start discussions.” He said the United Nations could serve as a platform for the peace efforts already being carried out by many Member States.
His country has argued in favour of peace and he noted that Hungary has received 1.1 million refugees in the last 500 days. His country knows what it feels to fight against a stronger power. He regretted that the Black Sea Grain Initiative had not been extended. The absence of grain deliveries can create food shortages that can create food insecurity and greater migration of people. He said Hungary is willing to help Ukrainian grain be transported wherever it is needed, to Africa and Middle East countries, as well as Europe.
KAROLINE EDTSTADLER, Federal Minister for the European Union and Constitution at the Federal Chancellery of Austria, noted she personally witnessed the destruction and horrors of this war during a visit to Ukraine in November 2022, having taken shelter from the missiles falling on Kyiv. She called on the Russian Federation to immediately and without any condition withdraw its forces from all of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders. Today’s debate is a reminder that the Russian Federation has been violating the Charter of the United Nations since the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea in 2014. Throughout occupied Ukraine, human rights violations have reached an unimaginable dimension since February 2022, with atrocities committed against the civilian population including rape, torture and extrajudicial killings.
She noted that the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine concluded in its last report that the Russian Federation authorities have committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law and violations of international human rights law, including a wide range of war crimes. Austria recently provided €2 million to Ukraine for humanitarian demining and another €18 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and neighbouring States, bringing its total support to over €152 million. The Black Sea Grain Initiative shows that even in difficult times, there is room for diplomacy, she noted, calling on the Russian Federation to reconsider its decision announced on 17 July and to enable its continuation.
PETER BALÍK, Minister for Investments and Informatization of Slovakia, associating himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, reiterated his country’s condemnation of the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories. He expressed support towards President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s 10‑point peace plan, while recalling that, as Ukraine’s neighbour, Slovakia has provided immediate assistance to Ukrainian refugees. “But, we need to think ahead,” he stressed, voicing support for the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine’s towns and infrastructure. Further, he advocated for the International Criminal Court’s activities to conduct crime investigations within its jurisdiction and condemned Moscow for spreading disinformation and promoting a false narrative. In this context, he called on the Russian Federation to cease its military activities in Ukraine and withdraw its troops and the occupation administration from Ukraine’s territory.
ZBIGNIEW RAU, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland, said the war in Ukraine has a long shadow and it started long before the full-scale invasion of its territory in February 2022. The aftereffects will remain much longer. He noted the alarming reports of human rights violations committed by the Russian Federation forces and said that Moscow has been running a system of filtration camps. He is deeply concerned with the forceable removal of Ukrainian children and living conditions in the occupied territories. The conflict may be expanded by the presence of terrorist groups. It is regrettable that Belarus is providing safe haven for terrorist groups. The international community needs to support Ukraine’s sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders and take concrete steps to end the war. It must stand with those who chose peace and security and not a brutal aggression. It must stand with the United Nations. It is a political necessity and a moral obligation of the international community.
JEAN ASSELBORN, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, aligning himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, condemned in the strongest terms the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine. Luxembourg was the victim of the crime of aggression twice in the last century, when the United Nations did not yet exist. The role of the Organization — and that to which it was founded — is precisely to put an end to the illegal use of force. He expressed shock over the indiscriminate violence and the growing number of testimonies and reports of unsustainably brutal attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and deportations of Ukrainian children to Russian territory. He voiced regret over Moscow’s decision to suspend its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Stressing that actions by the Russian Federation may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, he voiced support for efforts to set up a special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Further emphasizing the paralysis of the Security Council, due to the Russian Federation veto, he noted it was the General Assembly that mobilized for an international order based on the force of law and not on the law of force — and it must remain mobilized until Russian Federation troops leave the entire territory of Ukraine. Together with European allies and partners, Luxembourg will continue to help Ukraine defend itself in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.
FRANCISCO ANDRÉ, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Portugal, associating himself with statement to be delivered by the European Union, said that the Russian Federation’s armed forces doubled down on their repressive policies on the occupied territories of Ukraine. It has been nine and a half years since Moscow began to militarize Crimea, he said, recalling that Portugal has been arguing that this was not an issue of regional concern, but a global matter. “These arguments have sadly been proven correct in light of Russia’s large-scale aggression,” he stressed, noting that the illegal annexation emboldened Moscow. Turning to the situation in eastern Ukraine, he called on the Russian Federation to “give peace a chance”, while reporting that Portugal has accepted 60,000 Ukrainian refugees. International disputes must be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, he underscored, adding: “But, dialogue must have a clear basis: sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected.”
LOTTE MACHON, Deputy Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, speaking on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries, said the Russian Federation’s aggression started nine years ago with its illegal annexation of Crimea and other areas. She noted that the humanitarian situation has worsened in Ukraine since the Russian Federation’s invasion in February 2022 and its illegal annexation of other territories. There are repeated violations of international humanitarian law, the illegal detention of people and the rampant use of sexual violence and attacks on civilians. There are reports of the illegal transport of children out of Ukraine, which is a potential war crime.
She is deeply concerned that international monitoring bodies cannot gain access to these areas on the ground. She called on the Russian Federation to eliminate all hostilities and withdraw its forces from all areas of Ukraine. She reaffirmed her bloc’s unwavering support for an independent Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. She called for all perpetrators to be held accountable and the creation of an appropriate mechanism for the crime of aggression. Impunity undermines the possibility of justice for the victims and survivors. The Nordic and Baltic States stand united against the aggression and call on the international community to reach a comprehensive and just accord.
PILAR CANCELA RODRÍGUEZ, Secretary of State for International Cooperation of Spain, aligning herself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Russian Federation armed forces from the entire territory of Ukraine, beyond its internationally recognized borders. As of 24 February 2022, the confirmed number of civilian casualties in Ukraine stands at more than 24,000 dead and wounded and “we fear that the real figures will be far higher”, she stressed. Those responsible for the crimes committed in massacres, such as Bucha and Izium, will not go unpunished, she stated. The aggression against Ukraine began in 2014, when the Russian Federation illegally annexed Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, with Spain refusing to recognize the illegal annexation of all Ukrainian territories. The progressive degradation of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in the Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation is also unacceptable.
ADRIAN BALUTEL, Secretary of State for the of Republic of Moldova, said that it is the international community’s moral duty to continue supporting Ukraine. Rejecting any modification of the temporarily occupied territories’ status, he condemned Moscow’s decision to hold so-called elections on those territories. “Any escalation is increasing the security risk for the entire region and for the Republic of Moldova as an immediate neighbour of Ukraine,” he stressed, expressing concern over the threat of the use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear sovereign State. He also voiced concern over the increasing death toll and the number of injured civilians, as well as the destruction of critical infrastructure, while deploring the violations against children on the temporarily occupied territories. In this regard, he called on the Russian Federation to ensure the humanitarian access to the areas under its military control, while noting that the recent bombing of Odessa’s ports reveals Moscow’s tactic of weaponizing food.
ROBERT OLYPHANT, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, said his delegation condemns in the strongest terms the Russian Federation’s deplorable actions in the occupied areas of Ukraine. The Russian Federation continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and disregards international law and the Charter of the United Nations, which form the basis for the Assembly’s work. He noted the illegal occupation of Crimea and said the Russian Federation’s efforts at annexation of Ukrainian territories have followed a playbook it first set out in Crimea in 2014: sham referenda, replacement of school materials, replacement of Ukrainian place names with Soviet names, replacement of local officials and replacement of official documents. Now it has also gone further and acts in occupied territories as a police State.
He said this debate takes place on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Rome Statute and his delegation is proud to support the International Criminal Court’s investigations into the Russian Federation’s actions in Ukraine. “Ukraine’s borders will not change. Ukraine’s territory will remain Ukraine’s,” he said. “President Putin cannot redraw the map as he pleases.” He supported the ongoing resilience and courage of ordinary Ukrainians and called on the Russia Federation to withdraw from Ukraine’s land and urged other Assembly Member States to demand on the same.
TAKEI SHUNSUKE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, said that his home prefecture of Miyazaki, a city of 1 million people — as many as in Kherson Oblast in Ukraine — hosts Ukrainian refugees. “I am proud that Japan, including Miyazaki, has provided a safe environment for more than 2,000 Ukraine refugees,” he stressed, adding that Japan will also include injured Ukrainian soldiers. Moreover, Japan will provide $7.6 billion of assistance to Kyiv, while also supporting its recovery and reconstruction. He condemned Moscow for “taking the rest of the world hostage” and terminating the Black Sea Grain Initiative, while urging it to return to the international framework. Recalling, that, almost 10 years ago the General Assembly declared that the “so-called annexation” of Crimea had no validity, he said that withdrawal of the Russian Federation’s military forces should be an integral part of peace. “Peace would become unjust if aggressors were rewarded,” he added.
MARIA TRIPODI, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, said the Russian Federation is pushing an international order justifying the use of force of the stronger against the weaker. The atrocious consequences of the Russian Federation’s aggression on Ukraine go well beyond the European continent, threatening the fragile strata of the world population due to its impact on food security. She called for renewed vigour in facilitating exports of Ukrainian grain along other routes, as the war only makes global disparities of hunger and poverty stand out more starkly. Any action that recognizes the occupation and its consolidation opens dark and dangerous scenarios for the world, she stressed, voicing support for the 10-point Ukrainian peace proposal to create the conditions for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace.
FRANO MATUŠIĆ, State Secretary for Political Affairs of Croatia, said that the impact of the Russian Federation’s aggression on children is worrying. Noting that Moscow has reportedly abducted thousands of children from the temporarily occupied territories, he said that over a million women and elderly people have been forced to relocate. The war has economic repercussions in many areas, he said, spotlighting the food crisis as one of the most dramatic global effects. “Croatia is ready to help find the new directions for the exports of Ukrainian grain,” he emphasized, noting his country’s railways and ports can be an alternative route. Emphasizing that aid cannot be denied to those in need, he recalled that Croatia has provided €230 million to Ukraine, while giving temporary protection to 25,000 persons. Moreover, in October, his Government will host an international donor conference, he said.
EAMON RYAN, Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport of Ireland, said the Russian Federation’s war of choice is not only a war on the people of Ukraine, but on the Charter of the United Nations and the multilateral system. It has blatantly violated the Charter’s principles of sovereign equality and the territorial integrity of States and the obligation of all States to refrain from threatening or using force against one another. Ireland unequivocally condemns this, including the Russian Federation’s nuclear threats. The Assembly relies on the rules-based international order as a guarantee of independence, sovereignty and security. “If we fail to hold Russia accountable, if we fail to respond to Russia’s attack on the UN Charter, we will leave the world a more dangerous place for us all,” he said.
It is essential that international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, are fully respected and upheld. In addition, the Russian Federation’s war of aggression is threatening global food security. The world’s most vulnerable people are being directly impacted by increased food and economic insecurity, and the rising cost of energy and commodities. “Russia’s weaponization of food is unacceptable,” he said. He supported the Secretary-General’s efforts on the Black Sea Grain Initiative and deeply regretted the Russian Federation’s decision to withdraw from the Initiative. “We urge them to stop playing games, to immediately return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, put it on a sustainable footing, and allow life-saving grain to reach those who need it most,” he added.
MARKO ŠTUCIN, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovenia, aligning himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, unequivocally rejected the attempted illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, as well as the autonomous republic of Crimea and Sevastopol and remains committed to the policy of non-recognition. The international community must prioritize the well-being and safety of the affected civilian population, as many internally displaced women and children are at risk of human trafficking, exploitation and conflict-related sexual violence. Calling on Moscow to reconsider its decision and renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative, he also expressed support for all efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to reduce the risks of nuclear accidents. He called on all parties to become party to the Ljubljana-The Hague MLA Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and other International Crimes.
STEVEN COLLET, Deputy Vice Minister for International Cooperation of the Netherlands, associating himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, expressed concern over deported and forcibly transferred civilians from the temporarily occupied territories to the Russian Federation, while calling on Moscow to halt such illegal deportations. Welcoming the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant, he said: “Impunity is not an option.” He recalled that the Netherlands hosts the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression — a first step towards the “Aggression Tribunal” — and the Register of Damages — a step towards a full-fledged compensation mechanism, while emphasizing the importance of political and financial support to coordinate these “accountability tracks” through the Dialogue Group. Recalling that his country has facilitated the transit of Russian Federation’s fertilizer via the World Food Programme (WFP) within the Black Sea Grain Initiative, he called on Moscow to reinstate the deal without delay.
BJÖRN OLOF SKOOG, Head of Delegation of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said his bloc reiterates its resolute condemnation of the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression, which constitutes a manifest violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations and General Assembly resolutions. “This discussion is not just about Ukraine, but about each and every country in this hall,” he said. “It is about the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States.” Turning to the Russian Federation’s attempts to change by force the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, he said his delegation does not, and never will, recognize illegal annexation attempts. He urged all Member States to do the same.
Regarding human rights, he said the human rights situation in the temporarily occupied territories is of grave concern. International monitoring mechanisms, including the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, have concluded that the Russian Federation has committed a wide range of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Ukraine. The Union is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian Federation’s aggression. The bloc will support Ukraine as long as it takes, and is more committed than ever to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the country, in line with the Charter and the Assembly resolutions.
MOHAMMED ALI AHMED AL SHEHHI (Oman), speaking for the Gulf Cooperation Council, reaffirmed the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, calling on countries to refrain from the use of force. Noting that the resolution of the conflict lies in dialogue and negotiation, he commended efforts by countries hosting refugees from the affected areas. Calling on all parties to refrain from the targeting or destruction of civilian infrastructure, and facilitate prompt and safe access to humanitarian aid, he further commended efforts by the United Nations and humanitarian organizations to respond to the needs of civilians. He voiced regret that the Black Sea Grain Initiative was not renewed — as it was not only a humanitarian effort guaranteeing price stability and food security, especially for developing countries, but also an opportunity to keep diplomatic work going for the benefit of the entire world.
MARITZA CHAN VALVERDE (Costa Rica) said that more than 500 days have passed, and yet there is no plan for a ceasefire or for Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. “This silence not only keeps alive a precarious situation with a potential to escalate to nuclear proportions, but it also does a disservice to those who endure the repercussions of the war,” she stressed, pointing to the military spending escalation. “The higher the production of weapons, the more they elude even our most rigorous management and control efforts,” she lamented, while expressing concern over the provision of cluster munitions to Ukraine. She underscored, that cluster munitions do not win wars, but inflict harm on civilians and future generations. To this end, she urged Member States to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions and end the use, production and stockpiling of such weaponry. “The urgency to negotiate a ceasefire in Ukraine is palpable and should be followed by the swift withdrawal of Russian forces,” she emphasized.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said his country condemns all attempts to annex any part of Ukraine, noting that the Russian Federation’s full-scale aggression has only increased the importance of Crimea to Ukraine’s territorial integrity. “We must take an honest look at our past actions and omissions in this respect, as well as their consequences,” he stressed, underscoring that the Assembly’s meek response to the invasion and the annexation of Crimea in 2014 has helped create the conditions for the full-scale invasion in 2022. Noting that Moscow’s leadership must be held accountable, he said the Assembly should recommend the creation of the Special International Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression. He also recalled that, in 2014, the Assembly did not counter the Russian Federation’s narrative, that some parts of Ukraine were “not as Ukrainian” as the other ones and that Ukraine’s territorial integrity could be negotiated.
SEDAT ÖNAL (Türkiye) said it has been more than 500 days since the start of the war in Ukraine and his delegation has remained committed to that country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and made diplomacy a priority since the start. The ongoing war continues to have negative repercussions on energy prices, supply-chain disruptions and global food insecurity. The Black Sea Grain Initiative has had a stabilizing effect on prices and contributed to food security globally for almost one year. He hoped the current suspension will be temporary and operations will be resumed as soon as possible by addressing the needs and expectations of all stakeholders. Ensuring safety and security in and around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant remains a sensitive responsibility, particularly after the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam and hydroelectric power plant. He reiterated his delegation’s long-held view that the trajectory and resolution of the conflict cannot be decided by the dynamics of the battleground only. “Diplomacy must be prioritized and it should be part and parcel of all efforts to end this destructive war and forge the elements of a just and viable peace,” he said.
CARLA MARIA RODRÍGUEZ MANCIA (Guatemala) said the illegal, unprovoked and unjustified Russian Federation aggression against Ukraine is the biggest threat to the world order since the Second World War. Guatemala has cosponsored all resolutions submitted to the General Assembly and other international bodies, including the establishment of an Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine at the Human Rights Council. She further voiced support for the Ukraine-sponsored Peace Formula, as well as the Crimean Platform, as a clear indication of the mobilization of the international community. Calling for the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Russian Federation aggression against Ukraine, she stressed that “the duty to prevent and curb these inhumane acts falls on all of us, as Member States of this Organization, but in particular the permanent members of the Security Council”.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania) recalled that, in 2008, in the efforts to recover from the aftermath of the Berlin Wall’s fall, the Russian Federation occupied Georgia’s territory in a short, but brutal war. Six years later, “Russia would go again hunting, and its appetites would grow”, he said, observing that in Crimea, Moscow planted its flag and said: “It’s mine.” He recognized that the world was wrong not to consider these moves as a teaser for the massive military aggression against Ukraine, that resumed in February 2022. While the Security Council has been “taken hostage” and paralysed, the Assembly has condemned the aggression, but this has not stopped the war, he lamented. “If there was a place, where we need to stand up and make a clear distinction between the aggressor and the aggressed, it is the General Assembly — the place where the world meets every year,” he emphasized.
RENÉ ALFONSO RUIDÍAZ PÉREZ (Chile) said his delegation is dismayed that the sovereignty of Ukraine continues to be breached and he called for respect for the country’s internationally recognized borders. He upheld the full application of international humanitarian law to protect civilians, essential services and civilian infrastructure in the event of armed conflict. Warring parties must always comply with their international obligations, particularly allowing humanitarian assistance to reach civilians, and avoiding damage to civilian infrastructure. He emphasized the basic principles enshrined in Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations and governing international coexistence: to avoid the use or threat of use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of States. He urged all parties to settle disputes by peaceful means and fulfil their obligations in good faith. He urged the Assembly President to continue efforts of dialogue and understanding, in order to achieve peace and allow the well-being and security of all people.
FIONA WEBSTER (Australia) mourned the incalculable losses borne by Ukraine and honoured the resilience of that country’s people. Ukraine is not just fighting for its own national sovereignty, “it is fighting for the UN Charter and the international rule of law”, she said. She voiced deep disappointment that the vital Black Sea Grain Initiative was not extended, calling on the Russian Federation to demonstrate its commitment to its developing country partners and allow the resumption of this vital trade. “We must never accept a situation where larger countries determine the fate of smaller countries,” she stressed, voicing concern over by the findings of the Human Rights Council’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry, that Russian Federation authorities have violated international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and committed a range of war crimes — including findings of willful killings, attacks on civilians, unlawful confinement, torture, rape and forced transfers and deportations of children.
JAKUB KULHÁNEK (Czech Republic) said that his country shares the view of the Human Rights Council’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry that Moscow’s forced deportation of Ukrainian children amounts to a war crime. “The crime of aggression committed by the leadership of the Russian Federation must not go unpunished,” he stressed, underscoring the need for a special tribunal to investigate and prosecute this leadership. While condemning the illegal seizure of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, he also expressed concern over the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam and its consequences. “Russia did not make any effort to assist the residents affected by flooding after its forces destroyed the Nova Kakhovka Dam,” he underscored, calling on Moscow to stop its aggression and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
ANDREEA MOCANU (Romania) said the Russia Federation’s aggression is an illegal and blatant attempt to chip away at Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty. The international community has reacted decisively in this very Hall in defending the Charter’s provisions, she said, adding: “The UN membership cannot treat this case as ‘business as usual’ nor forget attempts to change by force any internationally recognized borders.” Out of the whole population affected by the war, children and youth in Ukraine suffer the most. Romania is trying to bring normalcy to the lives of children from conflict areas in Ukraine. A week ago, in north Romania, a new programme of summer camps for children from Ukraine ended. This is a yearly programme that started after Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk were temporarily occupied. “Unlike re-education camps in Russia, where children are taken by force, in Romania they learned about science and culture, in particular astronomy in their own language,” she added.
KARL LAGATIE (Belgium), associating himself with the European Union, recalled that the unprovoked and unjustified aggression has a single cause: the attempt by the Russian Federation to illegally and forcibly annex part of Ukrainian territory. “This aggression constitutes a crime against peace” and international law whose perpetrators cannot go unpunished, he stressed — planned, prepared, launched or carried out by individuals when they were in a position to control or direct the political or military action of a State. Given the paralysis of the Security Council, he called for a special international tribunal responsible for prosecuting the crime of aggression against Ukraine. He welcomed the inclusion of Russian Federation armed forces and affiliated groups in Ukraine in the “list of infamy” of the Secretary-General’s report on children in armed conflict.
PASCALE CHRISTINE BAERISWYL (Switzerland) urged the Russian Federation to abandon the elections announced for September in Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions, noting that her country will not recognize their results. Expressing concern over the summary executions, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances, among other things, she said these crimes must be investigated. She welcomed the introduction of instruments, complementary to criminal justice, such as victims’ registers, reparations and mental-health and psychological services, while voicing concern over the humanitarian, ecological and economic consequences of the Kakhovka Dam’s destruction, especially on water supply in southern Ukraine. In Crimea, these consequences are compounded by the deterioration of the human rights situation, she observed, recalling that, for several years, the Assembly had expressed its concern over the lack of access to human rights monitoring mechanisms on the peninsula. “Let us act to make comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine a reality,” she emphasized.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom) said Russian Federation troops amassed on the border of Ukraine in February 2022 and launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This was a violation of the Charter of the United Nations by a permanent member of the Council. In September 2022, the Russian Federation held sham elections in occupied areas. Moscow is seeking to seize and consolidate control through violence and oppression and erasing Ukrainian culture and identify. Its aggression did not begin in February 2022, but eight years earlier when it illegally annexed Crimea. The situation has deteriorated with more violence against the local people, including house searches, arbitrary arrests and conscription of people into the Russian Federation armed forces. His delegation will not accept the Russian Federation’s illegal control of Ukraine’s territory. The United Kingdom will continue to support Ukraine to defend itself until it wins a just and sustainable peace in line with the Charter.
MARK SEAH (Singapore) said the situation in Ukraine should not become a “routine” conflict. While the Council has debated this issue “countless times”, it remains paralysed and ineffectual in the face of the “defining crisis of our time”, he observed, noting that the Russian Federation has abused its position as a permanent Council member. Expressing concern over the humanitarian situation and the reports of war crimes and denial of humanitarian aid to the territories under Moscow’s occupation, he also voiced regret over the suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which has been a “lifeline for global food security and helped to stabilize food prices”. Turning to the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and the damage of the Kakhovka Dam, he said the international community must prevent the nuclear tragedy. “It is our hope that the war will come to an end,” he emphasized.
LACHEZARA STOEVA (Bulgaria), associating herself with the European Union, urged the Russian Federation to “end this war now” and immediately withdraw its military forces from Ukraine. “We firmly reject Russia’s strive to forcefully change the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine by annexing the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions,” she said. Bulgaria does not recognize the “so-called ‘referenda’, just as we never recognized the illegal annexation of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol in 2014”. The decision of the Russian Central Election Commission to hold elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine is another attempt by Moscow to redraw the post-cold-war boundaries of Ukraine. Bulgaria is concerned with the Russian Federation’s termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This “irresponsible act” blocks Ukraine’s sea ports, threatens the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea, and creates conditions for new waves of global food insecurity.
VLADIMIR VUČINIĆ (Montenegro), aligning himself with the European Union, strongly condemned the Russian Federation’s brutal aggression, including the killings of civilians, unlawful attacks on civilian infrastructure, sexual and gender-based violence and abductions of children. There can be no impunity for war crimes, he asserted, expressing support for accountability initiatives to combat impunity and ensure justice. As highlighted in the Secretary-General’s Report on Children and Armed Conflict, the aggression was particularly devastating for children. Moreover, the consequences of this aggression are not only felt in Ukraine, but have provoked global energy, food and financial crises which impact the least developed countries. In this respect, he lamented that the Russian Federation did not agree on extending the Black Sea Grain Initiative, as it will further jeopardize the fragile situation and directly affect vulnerable populations globally.
JOONKOOK HWANG (Republic of Korea), expressing concern with the loss of civilian life and destruction of critical infrastructure in Ukraine, stressed: “War crimes must be investigated, and perpetrators must ultimately be held accountable.” The Russian Federation’s armed invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of Ukrainian territories with force violate the Charter of the United Nations. He expressed concern over nuclear safety in Ukraine, particularly at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. “The recent developments, such as the repeated loss of off-site power, are especially worrisome,” he added. When the Security Council fails to fulfil its primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security, the General Assembly must speak in a unified voice. “As the last 70 years of history on the Korean Peninsula shows, I strongly believe that time is on the side of freedom, justice, human rights, the rule of law, and the UN Charter,” he said.
CARLOS AMORIN (Uruguay) condemned the military invasion of Ukraine, which has generated highly negative consequences not only for the concerned countries but also for the region and the entire international community. He called on the Russian Federation to cease military operations and withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory as soon as possible. The acquisition of territories by the use of force or other mechanisms that run counter to the Charter is illegal. This rule of international law means that territorial annexation in the context of aggression against another State violates the Charter, he said, reiterating his Government’s firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. Against this backdrop, he stressed the need to find avenues for dialogue to de-escalate the current conflict.
VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta), associating herself with the European Union, condemned all attempts by the Russian Federation to forcibly integrate the illegally annexed Crimea into its territory. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) remains a vital partner in the resolution of this conflict, with work being carried out through its Support Programme for Ukraine, which is succeeding in supporting long-term reforms towards rebuilding the democratic and social resilience of Ukraine’s institutions. Turning to cooperation through the International Crimea Platform, she underscored the need to continue refusing to recognize Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. She called on the Russian Federation and Russian Federation-backed armed formations to respect international law. She further called on that country to uphold its obligations under the United Nations Charter, international human rights law, and international humanitarian law in Crimea. She also called on it to abide by the complete prohibition of torture and ensure the independent, impartial, and effective investigation of such allegations in the peninsula.
ANTJE LEENDERTSE (Germany), welcoming all initiatives by the General Assembly and international actors to achieve a peace based on international law and the Charter of the United Nations, noted that a group of countries has started to work on Ukraine’s Peace Formula, with the work initiated in Copenhagen now continuing in Kyiv. A ceasefire without the withdrawal of the Russian Federation’s forces would condemn millions of Ukrainians to indefinite occupation. Any territorial concession by Ukraine would embolden the aggressor and other potential invaders around the world. Her country will never recognize the Russian Federation’s illegal annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Crimea. A complete and unconditional withdrawal from all of Ukraine is not just a legal and moral obligation, but also crucial to protecting the principles enshrined in the Charter. A comprehensive peace that re-establishes a basis for future ties between the Russian Federation and Ukraine also includes compensation and accountability. It is estimated to cost $411 billion for Ukraine to recover from the aggression. Moscow bears responsibility for the damages caused. Furthermore, all Russian perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity must be held accountable for their actions.
EVANGELOS SEKERIS (Greece) aligning himself with the European Union, affirmed that his Government will never recognize the annexation of Ukrainian regions and remains committed to the political, financial and humanitarian support of the country. The Russian Federation’s war of aggression is an existential threat to Ukraine and a violation of the core principles of the Charter. Denouncing the Russian Federation’s appalling abductions and deportations of children, he noted that Mariupol, once a vibrant city, is “today, unfortunately, a ghost town”. Under no circumstances can civilians and those not taking an active role in the conflict be treated as legitimate targets, which is an international crime, he pointed out. Expressing support for an investigation by the International Criminal Court, he welcomed the recent establishment under the Council of Europe of a register of damage caused by the Russian Federation.
ANTHONY SIMPSON (New Zealand) said that the Russian Federation has made a mockery of its special responsibilities as a Council member. Moreover, its actions have sparked the global food-security crisis, which has driven hundreds of millions around the world into hunger and malnutrition. Further, Moscow’s recent decision to terminate the Black Sea Grain Initiative is not merely disappointing, but unconscionable. “Food is not a weapon. Hunger is not a tool. And food security must not be used in political games,” he stressed, calling on the Russian Federation to resume implementing the Initiative. Turning to the humanitarian crisis, he said: “The evidence is clear, compelling and indisputable,” while pointing out that among Moscow’s victims are the people that it is “supposedly acting to protect”.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) said this meeting on Ukraine has been held since 2014, when the Russian Federation seized and attempted to annex Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. “It was a violation then and it is still a violation today,” he said. The Russian Federation has moved deeper into Ukraine’s territory using the same playbook from 2014, including the use of sham referenda. In addition, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Commissioner recently presented findings in which Russian Federation troops were using people as human shields. The international community must make clear that it will not tolerate any Member State seizing the territory of another State by force and will not tolerate crimes against humanity. The Russian Federation’s suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative was another “selfish blow” to the world, one that will increase food insecurity for the world’s poorest people. He urged all Member States to call on the Russian Federation to resume this Initiative. “This war must end,” he emphasized, adding that a just and lasting peace must be based on the principles of the Charter.
MHD. RIYAD KHADDOUR (Syria), highlighting the importance of settling regional and international conflicts through peaceful means, rejected the negative trend of using the General Assembly platform to engage in political polarization. The situation in Ukraine cannot be viewed apart from the security and political situation following the 2014 coup d’état and apart from the policies Ukraine has pursued vis-à-vis the Russian Federation, especially the principle of good neighbourliness. Western and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) policies have inflamed the conflict and exacerbated the humanitarian situation, he said, adding that these States turned a blind eye to the inhumane practices against the residents of Donbas. “They did so for eight years,” he added. Furthermore, hostility increased against Moscow, with heavy weaponry and missile system sent to Ukraine, including internationally prohibited weapons. He emphasized that despite initiatives undertaken by the Russian Federation to settle the dispute, the Western Governments showed no enthusiasm to even discuss them.
JUAN RAMÓN DE LA FUENTE RAMÍREZ (Mexico) noted that, as a consequence of the invasion, more than 6 million Ukrainians have had to leave their country and 5 million have been internally displaced. Thus far, OHCHR has recorded the deaths of at least 9,000 civilians, although the real figure is most likely higher. Noting that the Black Sea Grain Initiative represented temporary food relief and the global economy — and its interruption will have enormous humanitarian repercussions — he voiced support for efforts to resume the Initiative in favour of world food security. Voicing concern over the most recent IAEA report on explosions that allegedly took place in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, he called for an end to all military actions there, in full compliance with international humanitarian law.
MARÍA DEL CARMEN SQUEFF (Argentina) called on all parties involved to return to the negotiating table, while emphasizing that her country will continue to promote dialogue and a peaceful settlement to put an end to the conflict. In this regard, she reiterated Argentina’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of international disputes, observing: “It is only in this way, that we guarantee just and lasting solutions.” Evidence suggests that there is stunted progress across various mediation attempts, she noted, while pointing to the escalation of deployment of arms with high destructive power. Underscoring the importance of humanitarian aid for the survival of the most vulnerable, she called for providing access to the occupied territories. She also appealed for the resumption of the political dialogue to calm tensions.
SÉRGIO FRANÇA DANESE (Brazil) called on all parties to strictly respect international law and encouraged them to de-escalate hostilities and reopen channels of dialogue. Urgent issues, such as exchanges of prisoners of war, guarantees for the integrity of the Zaporizhzhia power plant and other nuclear facilities, and the continuity of the transport of grains and fertilizers from the ports of the Black Sea, need to be resolved through negotiations, he said, noting that those are matters of interest to all Member States, which suffer the severe side effects of the conflict. Reaffirming his country’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, he called for a just and lasting peace, in line with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and considering the legitimate security concerns of all parties in conflict. He further encouraged the international community’s political and diplomatic efforts towards a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict.
GENG SHUANG (China) said that, with no signs of the conflict easing on the ground, the international community must intensify its efforts to step up peace talks. All parties must exercise reason and restraint to ensure the situation does not escalate out of control. Both parties must be calm and adhere to international humanitarian law. Efforts must be made to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and alleviate human suffering. The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant must be protected, and he supported continued engagement with IAEA. His delegation has always maintained that nuclear weapons must not be used. “We must stay away from the red line of nuclear war,” he added. He urged the international community to promote the resumption of contacts between the parties. The crisis in Ukraine is a tragedy brought about by the cold war mentality. “There are no simple solutions to a complex problem,” he added, calling for the creation of a sustainable and balanced European security architecture.
RUCHIRA KAMBOJ (India) said that the escalation of hostilities and violence is in no one’s interest. “The global order that we all subscribe to is based on international law, the UN Charter and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all States,” she said, also stressing that the path to peace requires all channels of diplomacy to be kept open. It is unfortunate that as the trajectory of the Ukrainian conflict unfolds, the entire Global South suffers substantial collateral damage. India’s approach to the Ukrainian conflict will continue to be people centric. India is providing both humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and economic support to some of its neighbours in the Global South under economic distress. The Global South is facing an escalating cost of food, fuel and fertilizer, “which has been a consequential fall out of the ongoing conflict”, she said.
MARISKA DWIANTI DHANUTIRTO (Indonesia) stressing that putting an end to this war must happen in a negotiating table, not on the battlefield, called once again for an urgent cessation of hostilities and for all parties to provide an enabling environment to kick-start the peace process. Her country has provided support for recovery in Ukraine delivered through the Ukraine Red Cross Society, she said, noting that it will also provide support to hospital reconstruction in Kyiv. Voicing support for global efforts to end the war in Ukraine, she underscored that any initiative to create peace must be aimed at truly solving the issues among the parties. She expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary-General and Türkiye and underscored their importance in ensuring that the global supply chain for much needed grain and fertilizer continues. These initiatives should be implemented in their entirety and reach those who need them the most, namely, developing countries and the poor, she stressed.
VATHAYUDH VICHANKAIYAKIJ (Thailand) expressed deep concern over the ongoing humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Ukraine on the civilian population. The situation also continues to exacerbate the global food and energy crisis, generate economic hardship and hamper efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed that, as long as the situation persists, the world will be more polarized, with increasing tensions and a growing arms race. He therefore called for facilitating humanitarian aid for those in need, as well as for all sides to intensify diplomatic efforts, cease hostilities and meaningfully engage in dialogue.
GABRIELE CACCIA, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, expressed grave concern over the war in Ukraine and reiterated his plea that weapons be silenced. Imploring that the displaced continue to receive humanitarian support until they can make a safe, voluntary and dignified return to their homes, he urged that no effort be spared in providing for the swift reunification of all families separated by the present violence in the best interest of children. In the face of such suffering, the international community “must not grow resigned to war, but work together for peace”. War, in itself, is an error and a horror, he emphasized, calling for a ceasefire and the start of negotiations towards a just and lasting peace.
Right of Reply
The representative of the Democratic Republic of Korea, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, categorically rejected and strongly condemned groundless allegations, made by the Republic of Korea against his country. He pointed out that the last Korean War was a war of aggression, “deliberately prepared and provoked by the United States and South Korea to undermine DPRK [Democratic Republic of Korea], which was founded in less than two years”. Even today, these countries’ military provocations are driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula to a critical point of a nuclear war outbreak, he said, advocating for the right of self-defence.