The UN chief welcomed the unity of the Security Council in support of peace in Ukraine, while also assuring that he would continue to “spare no effort” in saving lives, reducing suffering, and finding the path to peace.
“As I have often said, the world must come together to silence the guns and uphold the values of the UN Charter,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement. “For the first time, the Security Council spoke with one voice for peace in Ukraine”.
The UN chief flew to Europe where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. His diplomacy paved the way for joint UN-Red Cross humanitarian missions, which have so far evacuated about 500 civilians from Mariupol and the beleaguer steel plant in Azovstal.
He was referring to the presidential statement on Ukraine released minutes earlier by the Security Council.
“The Security Council expresses deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine,” said the Council President for the month of May, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield of the United States, on behalf of the Ambassadors. “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 communication continued.
It went on to express “strong support” for the Secretary-General’s efforts to find a peaceful solution.
“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council in due course after the adoption of the present statement,” concluded the statement.
The adopted text was drafted by Norway and Mexico.
How it got here
Since Russia launched what it called a “special military operation” on 24 April, a draft Security Council resolution that would have deplored Moscow’s invasion was never adopted. However, shortly thereafter, the 193-member General Assembly did adopt two non-binding resolutions, deploring Russia’s “aggression against Ukraine.”
It also condemned Russia for creating a “dire” humanitarian situation and demanded that its troops “immediately, completely and unconditionally” withdraw and that there be aid access and civilian protection.