Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

General Assembly Resolution Seeking End to Ukraine Hostilities ‘Is Loud and Clear’, Secretary-General Says, Warning Situation Could Get Worse

Secretary-General’s press remarks following vote of General Assembly on Ukraine:

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the press following the General Assembly vote on Ukraine, in New York today:

The General Assembly has spoken.  As Secretary-General, it is my duty to stand by this resolution and be guided by its call.  The message of the General Assembly is loud and clear: end hostilities in Ukraine — now; silence the guns — now; open the door to dialogue and diplomacy — now.

The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine must be respected in line with the United Nations Charter.  We don’t have a moment to lose.  The brutal effects of the conflict are plain to see.  But, as bad as the situation is for the people in Ukraine right now, it threatens to get much, much worse.

The ticking clock is a time bomb.  I am also deeply concerned with its potential consequences for regional and global peace and security, and a world struggling to recover from COVID.  Today’s resolution reflects a central truth.  The world wants an end to the tremendous human suffering in Ukraine.

This same truth was clear in the rapid mobilization of funds for our life-saving humanitarian operations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.  Our global flash appeal was met with record generosity.  I am deeply grateful to donors for their support.

With that funding in hand, we’ll be able to scale up the delivery of vital medical and health supplies, food, safe drinking water, shelter and protection.  Looking ahead, I will continue to do everything in my power to contribute to an immediate cessation of hostilities and urgent negotiations for peace.

People in Ukraine desperately need peace.  And people around the world demand it.

01 March 2022: Secretary-General’s remarks to launch the flash appeal for Ukraine [as delivered]

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues,

In the past week, a country has been thrown into chaos; a region has been upended; and the reverberations are being felt around the world.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed and injured in Ukraine.

Innocent people are once again paying the highest price of war.

More than half a million people have fled across borders.

Hundreds of thousands of women, children and men are spending days and nights underground, in basements, car parks and subway stations.

Rockets are raining down on cities including Kyiv.

Electricity and water supplies have been disrupted.

Roads have been damaged or destroyed by bombs.

Local supply chains are broken. Food and medicine are in short supply in some areas.

Strikes on an oil depot and a gas pipeline risk severe environmental damage.

I thank the Member States who have welcomed people fleeing Ukraine. It is important that this solidarity is extended without any discrimination based on race, religion or ethnicity.

For many people remaining in the country, life is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous.

Most places have little or no infrastructure to shelter and protect large numbers of people who arrive with virtually nothing.

I commend the national and local organizations providing aid, and the Ukrainian humanitarian and health workers caring for those injured in the fighting.

The international community must give them our unequivocal support.

We must help Ukrainians help each other through this terrible time.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

United Nations agencies are staying and delivering in Ukraine.

Even before the recent military offensive, humanitarian agencies were reaching three million people in the east.

We will now expand and scale up those programmes, and establish new operations wherever they are needed, across the country.

We and our partners are committed to supporting all those affected, in accordance with the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, independence, and humanity.

Today, we are launching two plans to help people across Ukraine and beyond.

Within Ukraine, the plan requires $1.1 billion to meet the escalating humanitarian needs of more than six million people affected and displaced by military operations over the next three months.

Outside the country, we are requesting $551 million to help Ukrainians who have fled across borders, principally to Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.

Both plans include funds to boost critical medicine and health supplies, safe drinking water, shelter and protection.

They are coordinated, complementary, and designed for immediate implementation.

I urge you to respond to these life-saving appeals.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

United Nations agencies and our partners are now working 24-7 to assess humanitarian needs and scale up aid, particularly to women, children, older people and those with disabilities.

On Sunday, UNHCR delivered its first truckload of household materials to central Ukraine, for families in evacuation shelters and others in need.

UNICEF partners are mobilizing to treat the mental and emotional damage caused by this conflict. Children may suffer lifelong trauma after witnessing war.

The first shipments by the World Food Programme are on their way from Turkey to Ukraine. WFP is building up an emergency operation to reach three million people with food distributions, cash and vouchers.

We are now coordinating partnerships between organizations and groups inside and outside Ukraine, and surging personnel into the country.

As we ramp up our efforts, it is essential that all humanitarian workers are safe and protected, and have guaranteed freedom of movement.

Unimpeded access to all affected people and communities must also be guaranteed.

I call on all sides to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

In our interconnected global era, the crisis in Ukraine could have a serious impact on vulnerable people around the world.

Not only because it will stretch humanitarian funding even further. But because Ukraine is a vital source of grains.

The World Food Programme buys more than half its wheat from Ukraine. Disruption to the harvest could drive up prices and add to global hunger.

This speaks to the urgent need for global solidarity – not only to fund humanitarian aid programmes, but to invest in peace.

The most effective humanitarian relief is to silence the guns.

Now, more than ever, we must intensify our efforts for peace, everywhere.

I thank all countries that have taken initiatives to facilitate negotiations on Ukraine.

The United Nations stands ready to support.

Soldiers must return to their barracks.

Leaders must turn to diplomacy.

I urge all those with influence to use it to end this senseless conflict.

Thank you.

Source – United Nations