UN Secretary-General António Guterres directed sharp criticism at Russia’s warfare in Ukraine, during a meeting of the UN Security Council. The meeting was chaired by Sergey Lavrov.
The criticism was in front of the Russian foreign minister, Guterres criticised Russia for causing massive destruction and suffering in neighbouring Ukraine when Russia attacked on 24 February last year.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed as a result of the war Russia started, many of the victims are civilians, including children.
Cities and local communities have been razed to the ground, the damage is enormous. Russia’s own population has also suffered great suffering in the form of dead and wounded, with many Russians having fled their own country.
NTB-AFP-Reuters reports on the case, quoting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres:
– Tensions between the great powers are historically high. The same applies to the risk of war as a result of accidents and miscalculations, Guterres said when he opened the meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday.
Lavrov is chairing the two-day meeting in New York, as Russia holds the presidency of the Security Council in April.
– Violation of international law
Guterres stated in his opening speech that the Russian invasion is a violation of international law.
He also said that the war in Ukraine is exacerbating the worldwide economic problems that started with the corona pandemic. This affects not least people in poor countries.
When Lavrov took the floor soon after, he admitted that the world is possibly in an even more dangerous situation than that which prevailed during the Cold War.
– In the same way as during the Cold War, we have reached a dangerous limit, possibly even more dangerous, Lavrov said.
The theme of the meeting is multilateralism and the UN Charter.
In a note to the member states, Russia has condemned what is referred to as the “unipolar world order”, which became a reality after the Cold War. The term refers to the powerful position the United States has held in the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The note states that “this poses a serious challenge to the efficiency and stability of the UN system”.
There is a clear UN majority against Russia
Guterres has a fairly united UN behind him in condemning Russia. An overwhelming majority of the member states have voted for such a condemnation.
A total of 141 countries voted for this, with only six dictatorship states voting in favour of Russia (Russia itself, Syria, North Korea, Belarus and Eritrea).
35 countries abstained, among them China, which many had thought would give open support to Russia.
Concerned about Sudan
Guterres also addressed the situation in Sudan, asking the 15 members of the UN Security Council to do everything they can to end the violence and restore peace and order in the country, so that Sudan can return to the process that will lead it to democracy .
Over 400 people, probably far more, have been killed since fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary group RSF broke out on 22 April.