At dedicated Assembly session on Ukraine, UN chief calls for ‘restraint, reason and de-escalation’,

The world is facing “a moment of peril,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a General Assembly session on Wednesday dedicated to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

“It is time for restraint, reason and de-escalation. There is no place for actions and statements that would take this dangerous situation over the abyss”, he said, calling for a ceasefire, dialogue and negotiations to save the people in Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war.

He also encouraged all parties to make full use of Article 33 of the UN Charter and its “diverse instruments of pacific settlement of disputes”.

The Secretary-General described the latest developments as “a cause of grave concern”, including reports of increased ceasefire violations across the contact line and “the real risk of further escalation on the ground”.

While acknowledging that the history of the conflict is complex, he underscored that in the present situation one thing is clear: “The decision of the Russian Federation to recognize the so-called ‘independence’ of Donetsk and Luhansk regions – and the follow-up – are violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.

Mr. Guterres emphasized that Russia’s actions are also inconsistent with the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations – a landmark resolution adopted by the Assembly more than half a century ago.

The so-called Friendly Relations Declaration sets out several vital principles that are “highly relevant” to today’s session, he reminded the Member States.

The UN chief highlighted the principle of sovereign equality of States, affirming that their territorial integrity and political independence are inviolable.

“Other General Assembly resolutions are also fully behind the sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders”, he said. Läs artikel