Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday the veto power in the “hands of the aggressor” has pushed the UN into a “deadlock”.
“Veto power should be voluntarily suspended but we can also observe that Russia will not give up this stolen privilege voluntarily,” he said in an address to a Security Council meeting.
“Therefore, the UN General Assembly should be given a real power to overcome the veto,” he added.
Zelenskyy accused Russia of a “criminal and unprovoked aggression” against his nation, aimed at seizing Ukraine’s territory and resources.
“But it’s not just that,” Zelenskyy continued, “The terrorist state is willing, through its aggression, to undermine all the grounds of international norms meant to protect the world from the wars.”
“We should recognize that the UN find itself in a deadlock on the matters of aggression,” he said. “Humankind no longer pins its hopes on the UN when it comes to the defense of the sovereign borders of nations and world leaders are seeking new platforms.”
Zelesnkyy said the use of the veto power is “what requires the reform.”
“And this could be a key reform. That is something that can restore the power of the UN Charter,” he added.
– UN grateful to Turkey for contributions to Black Sea grain deal
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his address to the Security Council that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “aggravating geopolitical tensions and divisions, threatening regional stability, increasing the nuclear threat, and creating deep fissures in our increasingly multipolar world.”.
Noting that the UN has been clear in condemning the war, Guterres said: “I have consistently and repeatedly called for a just and sustainable peace in Ukraine, in line with the charter and international law — for Ukraine, for Russia, and for the world.”
“Russia’s invasion was followed by relentless, systematic attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure and services, including health and education facilities,” he said.
Guterres said the Black Sea grain initiative helped to reduce global food prices by over 23% from the record high reached in March last year, and enabled the export of nearly 33 million metric tons of grain and foodstuffs.
“We deeply regret that Russia ended its participation in the Black Sea Initiative in July of this year,” he said, “And that, immediately upon leaving, Russia launched a bombardment of Ukrainian ports and grain storage facilities on the Black Sea and the Danube River.”
The UN chief said that attacks against terminals and grain stores are unacceptable, adding that “such assaults must end.”
“Further escalation could instantly shock the markets and destabilize the region,” he said.
Noting that the UN remains engaged with all parties to ensure safe and secure exports of grain and fertilizer from Russia and Ukraine, Guterres said: “These must be put on a stable footing, without the repeated threat of interruption.”
“I am grateful to the government of Turkey for its contributions and urge all member states to support our efforts,” he added.