In its first unanimous action on the Ukraine war, the United Nations Security Council on Friday adopted a statement expressing “deep concern” and “strong support” for diplomatic efforts by the U.N. secretary general to find a peaceful solution.
Security Council statements must be approved by all 15 of its members, and the one adopted on Friday appeared to have averted Russia’s veto by referring to the conflict as “disputes” rather than “war” — a term Russia has essentially criminalized within its borders. Russia instead maintains that its invasion, large military deployments, massive shelling and widespread airstrikes constitute only a “special military operation.”
“I think it’s encouraging to see diplomacy is getting its place at the council, even though this is a very first initial step,” Mexico’s ambassador to the U.N., Juan Ramón de la Fuente, told reporters.
In the 10 weeks since Russia invaded, the Security Council has tried to pass two resolutions condemning Russia’s actions, demanding it withdraw troops and allow access for humanitarian aid and evacuation of civilians. But Russia, one of five permanent members of the Security Council, vetoed both.
Friday’s statement, proposed by Mexico and Norway, says: “The Security Council expresses deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine. The Security Council recalls that all Member States have undertaken, under the Charter of the United Nations, the obligation to settle their international disputes by peaceful means.”
The statement then expressed “strong support” for the efforts by the U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, to find a peaceful solution.
Mr. Guterres welcomed the statement as the first time the Security Council had spoken “with one voice for peace in Ukraine.”
“As I have often said, the world must come together to silence the guns and uphold the values of the U.N. Charter,” he said in a statement. “I welcome this support and will continue to spare no effort to save lives, reduce suffering and find the path of peace.”