Seeking ‘peaceful solution’: Russia accepts UN declaration of war for the first time

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Russia accepts UN declaration of war for the first time

Russia has long blocked all UN Security Council statements on the war in Ukraine. Why the country is now backing a statement supporting UN Secretary General Guterres remains open. A diplomat gives a simple explanation.

In its first statement on the war in Ukraine, the UN Security Council backed the peace efforts of UN Secretary General António Guterres. “The Security Council expresses its strong support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to find a peaceful solution,” the statement said. This is the first statement by the UN body, which also includes Russia, on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Norway and Mexico drafted the text of the declaration. An earlier version said the Security Council in New York supported Secretary General Guterres’ role as a mediator in the war in Ukraine. This wording has been deleted. In the statement, the Security Council said it was “deeply concerned” about the preservation of peace and security in Ukraine. The Security Council also recalled that all UN Member States are committed to settling international disputes by peaceful means.

Russia had previously prevented Security Council decisions on the war in Ukraine. When asked what prompted Moscow to agree, a diplomat said, while guaranteeing anonymity, that “all the good things” had been cut from the project.

António Guterres welcomed the statement. It was the first time the Security Council “spoke with one voice for peace in Ukraine”, he said. The world must unite “to silence the guns and uphold the values ​​of the United Nations Charter”. The UN Secretary General announced that he would “spare no effort to save lives, reduce suffering and find the way to peace”.

Ambassadors express moderate satisfaction

Mexico’s ambassador to the UN, Juan Ramón de la Fuente, spoke of a “very first step” that points “in the right direction”. Norway’s UN representative Mona Juul said it was the council’s first unanimous decision since “this terrible war started in Ukraine”. The situation demands “maximum efforts” from the Security Council, the UN Secretary General and the entire UN.

Russia attacked neighboring Ukraine on February 24. Attempts by the UN Security Council to condemn the war of aggression failed due to Russia’s right of veto. As one of the five permanent members of the body, Russia alone can block any resolution.

So far, the UN has not played a mediating role in the war in Ukraine, but has engaged primarily for humanitarian purposes. A visit by Guterres to Moscow and Kyiv in late April finally brought several hundred civilians to safety in the disputed port city of Mariupol for weeks, with support from the UN and the International Committee of the Cross. Red.

Guterres is traveling to Moldova on Monday and Tuesday, where he will visit, among other things, a refugee camp. Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, nearly half a million Ukrainians have fled to the neighboring country.

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