Security Council calls emergency session of the General Assembly

Sergiy Kyslytsya (centre), Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, is invited to the table during the Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine. The Security Council voted on a draft resolution, presented by Albania and the United States of America, condemning in the "strongest terms, Russia's aggression against Ukraine". The resolution was not adopted with 11 votes in favour, one vote against (Russian Federation), and three abstentions (China, India and United Arab Emirates), due to the veto by the Russian Federation.

The Security Council, at its fourth meeting on the situation in Ukraine in the last week, called an emergency special session of the General Assembly in the next 24 hours at which the world body can decide whether to use armed force, when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

By a recorded vote of 11 in favour to 1 against (Russian Federation), with 3 abstentions (China, India, United Arab Emirates), the Council adopted resolution 2623 taking into account that the lack of unanimity of its permanent members at its meeting on 25 February has prevented it from exercising its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Juul: Council failed due to veto by the aggressor

Mona Juul, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, addresses the emergency Security Council meeting on the current situation in Ukraine.

Norwegian Permanent Representative Mona Juul recalled that the Russian Federation was isolated in the last meeting of the Council two days ago, stressed that its action is unacceptable and violates the core principles of international law that the United Nations stands for.  On Friday, the Council failed in its primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security, due to a veto by the aggressor, she said, adding that this made it necessary to reconvene an emergency special session of the General Assembly with the purpose of making recommendations for collective measures to address the situation.

Expressing deep concern at the alarm at the protracted harm experienced by the civilian population as a consequence of the horrifying conflict, she said that Norway is providing $226 million in humanitarian aid to help the Ukrainian people.  Norway insists that the Russian Federation unconditionally stops fighting and withdraws all its forces from the territory of Ukraine, she stressed.

Council members explained their positions.

The delegate from the Russian Federation, Council President for February, spoke in his national capacity, saying that each permanent member has a right to use the veto for such specific reasons as achieving global stability.  Any attempt to circumvent the Russian Federation’s rights in this regard only undermines the Charter of the United Nations, he said, adding that the veto is not a privilege, but rather a mechanism to ensure balance in the world.  The goal is to find common ground, unlike the actions of some Western members, which have blocked the Russian Federation’s concerns about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s representative thanked delegates who voted to call a General Assembly emergency special session and told those who appeared to see no reason to do so to look at the images of what is unfolding across his country, where day to day, night to night, citizens face warnings of air raids and are asked to proceed to shelters.  Elaborating on other consequences of violence across Ukraine, he voiced extreme alarm at the Russian Federation’s “nuclear blackmail”, a threat the world must take very seriously.  Those who see what is taking place can find no justification for the attack against his country, he said, emphasizing that Ukraine has filed a case against the Russian Federation at the International Court of Justice.  “Ukraine will bring the Russian Federation to account,” he declared.