If we do not stand up now, then every nation is at risk

Mr Secretary-General, Mr President, Colleagues,

On Friday, 81 Member States supported a resolution in the Security Council to stop the war in Ukraine.

Russia was completely isolated in opposing that resolution.

Today, we gather in the General Assembly to stand against Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine and its assault on the principles of the UN Charter.

The facts are clear.

Russia has invaded Ukraine without provocation and without justification.

Russia has rained missiles and rockets down on Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and other cities.

The brave men and women of Ukraine are enduring the barrage and have held their cities from Russian invaders.

They are fighting for their country, for their continued future as a free and independent nation.

But the humanitarian consequences are already immense. We hear of babies born in air raid shelters. Children with bomb craters in their kindergartens. And today, news of the shelling of residential areas in Kharkiv.

These are indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian civilians.

7 million Ukrainians are displaced.

In short, the scourge of war that our United Nations was created to prevent has been unleashed by Russia on Ukraine.

The international response to Russia’s aggression has been united and swift.

Around the world, and here in this building, we must stand together to defend the rules and enforce the accountability that we have built together.

If we do not stand up for them now, then the safety of every nation’s borders and independence are at risk.

That is why we also condemn Belarussian support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As the Secretary-General said last week, Russia’s actions are violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and conflict directly with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. And as he said today: the only answer is peace.

So our message today is simple:

  • We offer our unequivocal support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
  • We call on President Putin to stop this senseless war.
  • And we urge all fellow Members of the United Nations to speak up for Ukraine and to defend the Charter.

Slava Ukraini!

Published 28 February 2022

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