Address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Ukraine by Secretary-General António Guterres yesterday.



Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s the worst global peace and security crisis in a long time, if not since I was Secretary-General. We’re meeting today.

Our world is under threat. I fervently hoped it would not happen. Ukraine’s recent developments are quite alarming. They claim that ceasefire violations have increased across the contact line, creating a genuine risk of increased violence on the ground.

My thoughts are with everyone who has already witnessed such devastation, death, and displacement. The history of this battle is complicated, with at least two different stories at odds at all times.

I’m sure, they will never agree on what occurred in the past. The Russian Federation’s recognition of “independence” for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as subsequent actions, violates Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the UN Charter.

This is true regardless of what the Russian Federation does. In this historic room, I must also say that this decision goes against a United Nations resolution that was passed more than 50 years ago.

Among other things, I’m referring to the United Nations Charter-compliant Declaration on the Principles of International Law Governing Friendly Relations and Cooperation Between States.

The General Assembly made this “Declaration on Friendly Relations” during a meeting to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations.

The Friendly Relations Declaration, which the International Court of Justice has deemed an excellent example of international law, contains a number of significant concepts relevant to today’s conference.

There are numerous points I want to make against the notion that all states are sovereign and that “the state’s geographical integrity and political independence are inviolable.”

There are many General Assembly resolutions that support Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity in the world.

Respected President,

Numerous factors contributed to the Minsk Agreements’ survival in a critical care unit. They had been approved by the Security Council, and I had been ecstatic about them since the beginning.

Those devices, however, have been deactivated. Additionally, we must be concerned with preserving the integrity of peacekeeping. The public is fully aware of the United Nations’ long and illustrious history of sending peacekeepers to assist other countries. Only with the permission of the country to which the peacekeepers are dispatched.

Respected President,

Restraint, reason, and de-escalation are required. There is no room for actions or statements that could sway this dangerous situation.

It is past time to declare a cease-fire and resume dialogue and discussions in order to save the people of Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war.

I wish everyone would make full use of Article 33 of the Charter and its numerous mechanisms for resolving peaceful conflicts.

Respected President,

The United Nations system is still available to the people of Ukraine through our human rights and humanitarian efforts. Seven offices of our Human Rights Monitoring Mission are located throughout the country, on both sides of the contact line.

They keep track of civilian casualties, monitor freedom of movement, and investigate human rights breaches. Our humanitarian efforts are unrelated to who owns the land on which people live. Even before this recent surge, two million Ukrainians were in need of humanitarian aid.

With the assistance of other organizations, we and our partners have facilitated the movement of 140 metric tons of life-saving supplies across the contact line since the start of 2022.

Again, our efforts are entirely consistent with the General Assembly’s humanitarian ideals. It helps people in need by being humanitarian, being neutral, being impartial, and being independent. These are the four humanitarian principles that the UN uses to help people in need.

These ideas are critical for attracting and retaining impacted individuals, particularly those caught up in violent conflict. The General Assembly has said numerous times that humanitarian assistance should promote and uphold these objectives.

Our humanitarian organizations have committed to remaining and assisting the Ukrainian people, and they are willing to adjust and reprioritize their work as necessary.

As we all know all too well, civilians, including women and children, invariably bear the brunt of the violence. If the conflict in Ukraine worsens, the globe may face a degree of need not seen in a long time.

Then, I want all parties to allow humanitarian organizations safe and unrestricted access, even to areas in eastern Ukraine that are not under government control. All parties must adhere to their international humanitarian law obligations.

Respected President,

I will support any and all efforts to resolve this issue peacefully. My lovely offices remain available. We cannot and will not abandon the pursuit of a peaceful resolution.


Thank you.