On 20 September 2023 the UN Security Council held a high-level open debate on Ukraine. The meeting was entitled
Upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter through effective multilateralism:
Maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine
Several heads of state, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, participated in the meeting. This was Zelenskyy’s first in-person address to the Security Council since the onset of the war in Ukraine in February 2022.
The first video below shows the speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Charter is the UN’s founding document and codifies the major principles of international relations, including the sovereign equality of States and the prohibition of the use of force in international relations.
This was Zelenskyy’s first in-person address to the Security Council (SC) since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. He criticized the UN for failing to prevent or resolve conflicts like the one destroying his country and called for expanding the SC and reforming the right of veto granted to its five permanent members: China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States.
He called for Moscow to be stripped of its veto power in the Council, saying “It is impossible to stop the war because all actions are vetoed by the aggressor.” This was one of several calls at the on-going UN General Assembly to reform how the SC works.
“World leaders are seeking new platforms and alliances that could reduce the disastrous scope of problems,” Zelenskyy said, “the problems that are met here within these walls with rhetoric, rather than real solutions; with aspirations to compromise with killers, rather than to protect lives.”
The second video shows the speech by Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Minister Lavrov said his country continues to insist on all provisions of the UN Charter being respected and applied in their entirety, not selectively. “This includes the principle of the sovereign equality of States, non-intervention in their domestic affairs, respect for territorial sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the right of peoples to self-determination,” he said.
The third video shows the whole meeting, which lasted over 3 hours and included speeches by UN Secretary-General and senior statesmen and women from various other countries.
For more information about the debate see the UN News item at https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/09/1141127