Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the Security Council briefing on “Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2010/507)”
(26 February 2016)
I would like to thank you, Mr. President, and the entire team of the Venezuelan delegation for the hard work in February. Even though today we are formally summing up our work for this month, there are still some issues requiring our attention in the hours and days left.
We commend your approach in taking into account and doing your best in trying to accommodate requests from all delegations without any prejudice or discrimination.
In the past several weeks, the Council had to address quite a range of issues and the performance has been mixed.
Among the highlights I would recall the debate of the working methods of the Security Council. It was quite heartening to see a high level of convergence of views and an overall general understanding on areas, where the Council can make tangible improvements in the work of subsidiary bodies. In this regard, adoption of the Presidential Note on work of the subsidiary bodies of the Security Council (S/2016/170) is a welcome development and definitely a step in the right direction, albeit a small one.
Therefore we are looking forward to the first meeting of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions next month and stand ready to work closely with all SC members to further improve Council’s methods of work.
The debate on the respect of purposes and principles of the UN Charter in the context of maintaining international peace and security was very useful. The variety of views and approaches to this subject demonstrated the everlasting validity of the Charter provisions. However, one thing was clear from the discussion – any violation of any principles of the Charter undermine the foundation of our Organization, diminish its legitimacy in the eyes of the world public and removes us further away from a rule based international system.
Dangerous precedents set by unscrupulous leaders without any moral compass, preoccupied with visions of personal grandeur and blinded by imperialist ambitions, may tempt some into thinking that bending rules here and there, interpreting the Charter as one finds fitting and incessant brazen lying with a straight face actually pays off. The lack of concrete actions by the UN to punish a perpetrator, to correct the wrongs and to restore respect for the Charter’s purposes and principles makes it only too apparent to member states that might makes right.
Is this the world that our leaders wanted to build 70 years ago?
Is this the world that we find appealing to create now?
The answer is a resolute NO.
What we need is the UN capable of efficiently and swiftly responding to Charter violations and other challenges of today.
This brings me to the second part of my intervention today.
The Security Council has a special responsibility in ensuring that the Charter’s purposes and principles are upheld and respected. Violations of the Charter quite often result in armed conflicts that kill, maim and displace huge numbers of people. If that happens, it means the Council failed in its main responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.
For the Council to be effective, it needs to be united. And this is something that is missing.
Nowhere has this been more pronounced and evident than in the context of the Syrian conflict. Despite numerous discussions of the Syrian issue on the Council, very little has been done in practice to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, to put an end to the bloody conflict and to focus the energy and resources on combating the ISIS threat, which metastasizes into other countries of the region.
Recently, a glimmer of hope appeared for the Syrian people. Our sincere hope is that the Council does not waste this precious window of opportunity and the upcoming adoption of a resolution on cessation of hostilities in Syria is a welcome sign.
I would be remiss not to mention the issue of the sanctions against the DPRK. After the January nuclear test we expressed our strong condemnation of the Pyongyang actions that threaten international peace and security. After the February missile launch we reiterated our position that the Council must react in a robust manner to such flagrant violations of numerous previous Security Council resolutions.
It is rather regrettable that it took so long for a draft resolution to arrive on the Council’s table. At the same time, we are satisfied with a comprehensive nature of the document and would like to express our appreciation of the efforts of the drafters of the resolution.
We consider the upcoming adoption of the resolution as a significant step on the part of the international community in strengthening the global nonproliferation regime.
We are realists and do not expect the change in the Pyongyang’s behavior to happen overnight but our long-term hope is that the Korean peninsula will eventually transform from one of the hotspots on the world map into a region of peace and stability.
Though today we are discussing what has been done in the past month, I suggest that we take a look further ahead on the issue that is of great interest and importance for the general UN membership. I mean the election of the next Secretary General.
In February we had some useful exchanges among the Council members on the election process. With official nominations of seven candidates and probable emergence of new candidates, I believe it is very important that the Council starts holding some preliminary discussions on the issue without postponing the issue till July. In our opinion, it would be beneficial if the Council convenes at least once a month on the subject in the consultations format under the AOB item, maybe by the end of each month.
In conclusion I would like to wish you a successful completion of the Presidency in the coming days and would like to convey to the incoming Angolan presidency assurances of our full support.