Ukraine’s President calls for UN mechanism to document aggression by Member States

21 September 2016

Addressing the General Assembly, Ukraine’s President today said the time has come for the United Nations to work out serious safeguards against abuses of trust of the world community by some Member States, elaborate how to officially document evidence of aggression of one country against another, and envisage clear responsibility for the aggressor in line with the UN Charter.

“In its third year, the aggression against my country continues bringing pain and suffering to the Ukrainian people,” said President Petro Poroshenko during the Assembly’s annual general debate.

Since 2014, the terrorist component of the undeclared hybrid war against Ukraine had become a daily routine in Donetsk and Lugansk, with evidence of Russian involvement in the financing, sponsorship and coordination of terrorist groups, he said.

There were 38,000 illegal military forces in Donbass, mercenaries from and “armed by the Russian Federation,” which sent manpower daily across the border. Russia had insisted it had nothing to do with such activities and that Russians were not in Ukraine. “They are there,” he said, adding that a “sham referendum” had been conducted at Russian gun point.

The death toll had reached 10,000 people and hundreds were being unlawfully held, he said.

He urged Russia to allow human rights groups access to Crimea and Donbass, cautioning against a repeat of the genocide of Crimean Tatars. Ukraine plans to submit a draft resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea to the UN General Assembly, and he appealed to all Member States to not recognize the legitimacy of the recent election in what “he referred to as occupied Crimea.” Russia has used Crimea to protect its aggression policy in Ukraine and in Syria, where such policies went hand-in-hand with war crimes and crimes against humanity, he said.

Never had a Security Council member been a major violator of the UN Charter, and instigator of and participant in a conflict in which it was also a mediator. “This is actually the biggest threat facing humanity,” he said. “Our future depends on how we manage to overcome it.”

The international community could face the problem or turn a blind eye and leave the future of the UN at the mercy of “one player who blatantly violates its Charter.” The price for the latter would be paid in human lives. Furthermore, the Security Council cannot remain deadlocked on key issues of peace and security.

Suspension of the veto right in cases of mass atrocity and where a permanent Council member was party to a dispute should be “a rock solid rule,” he said, because the UN must be able to act against aggression and bring justice to perpetrators.

 

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