General Assembly: Eleventh Emergency Special Session (Ukraine) – AM Session
Opening of the session by the President of the General Assembly
Minute of silent prayer or meditation
Credentials of representatives to the eleventh emergency special session of the General Assembly:
Appointment of the members of the Credentials Committee
Report of the Credentials Committee
Adoption of the agenda (A/ES-11/2)
Letter dated 28 February 2014 from the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2014/136) – Item 5
Requested by the United Nations Security Council, the General Assembly held on Monday a rare emergency special session on Ukraine.
Prior to the start of the meeting, delegates in the General Assembly observed a minute of silence for the victims of the conflict.
Opening the session, Abdulla Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly, said the the organ, with its 193 Member States, “represents the collective conscience of humanity.”
Shahid said, “The strength of this Assembly is rooted in its moral authority. Let’s demonstrate that moral courage and use today’s debate not to whip up war rhetoric, but to give peace a chance. Let’s ignite the fire of love, humanity, and compassion. Guns are better off when knotted. Let peace prevail.”
On his turn, Secretary-General António Guterres said that the last few days were “a tragedy for Ukraine”, but also “a major regional crisis with potentially disastrous implications for us all.”
Guterres said, “Yesterday, Russian nuclear forces were put on high alert. This is a chilling development. The mere idea of a nuclear conflict is simply inconceivable. Nothing can justify the use of nuclear weapons.”
The Secretary-General added that “the guns are talking now, but the path of dialogue must always remain open.”
For Guterres, “It is never too late to engage in good-faith negotiations and to address all issues peacefully.”
“I hope that the direct talks now taking place between Ukrainian and Russian delegations will produce not only an immediate halt to the fighting, but also a path towards a diplomatic solution”, the UN chief said.
Guterres argued that “humanity cannot afford to be locked in a mindset that dredges up the worst of past centuries.”
The Secretary-General stressed the need to “focus on solving problems, not making them worse.”
Guterres also said that, in cities around the world, people are taking to the streets and demanding an end to war.
“People in Ukraine want and need peace. I believe people in the Russian Federation do, too. We need peace now,” he added.
Addressing the Member States, Ukrainian ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya noted that, “for the first time since the United Nations was born, there is a full-fledged war in the center of Europe.”
Kyslytsya said, “Everyone in this world knows that Russia, and Russia alone, started this invasion, now facilitated by Belarus. This war was not provoked. It was chosen by someone who is now sitting in the bunker. We know what happened to the person who sat in the bunker in Berlin in May 1945.”
Asking representatives to visualize the magnitude of the tragedy, the ambassador told them to imagine, next to each of them, more than 30 souls of killed Russian soldiers.
“Next to every name of every single country in this Assembly. 30 plus killed Russian soldiers. Hundreds of killed Ukrainians, dozens of killed children, and it goes on, and on, and on”, he said.
Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzya argued that “the root of the current crisis lies in the actions of Ukraine itself.”
Nebenzya said, “For many years, [Ukraine] has sabotaged and flouted its direct obligations under the Minsk Package of Measures. Very recently, there was hope that in Kyiv they would reconsider and would indeed comply to what they signed on to back in 2015. For that, first and foremost what was necessary was direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.”
The Permanent Representative assured that “occupation of Ukraine is not part of this plan.”
Nebenzya said, “The goal of this special operation is to protect the people who for eight years suffered with torment and genocide by the Kyiv regime and there is a need to demilitarize and denasify Ukraine. We further will strive to hold accountable those who carried out countless brutal crimes against the residents, including residents of the Russian Federation.”
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