Statement by HE Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at the UNGA High Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

Statement by HE Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at the UNGA High Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

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Ukraine aligns itself with the statement of the EU. In my national capacity I would like to add the following.

Mr. President,

Ukraine appreciates this initiative to hold this meeting. It is a timely opportunity for Member States and the UN leadership to consider measures leading to effecting real change in the UN peacebuilding architecture.

I would like to thank also the Secretary-General for presenting his views in the report, which we found very practical and forward-looking. We, therefore, support the Secretary-General in the implementation of the proposed recommendations, first of all, those of them aiming at strengthening the capabilities of peacekeeping operations in sustaining peace as well as ensuring wider involvement of women to the peacebuilding activities.

We are also encouraged by the vision of the Secretary-General on Peace and Security Pilar reform based on the prevention of conflict concept. Preventive diplomacy represents a major tool the UN should deploy more, drawing upon the good offices of the Secretary-General and his mandated responsibility to draw the Security Council’s attention to situations that could threaten international peace and security.

Mr. President,

Our deliberations take place at a defining moment for the Organization. Despite the universal appeal for peace and declared commitment to uphold it, wars and armed conflicts remain a recurring feature of today’s international affairs.

In matters of preventing conflicts and gross violations of human rights the speed and determination of the UN are crucial. In 1994 in Rwanda the UN failed to react promptly to prevent genocide. In 2014 neither the then leadership of the United Nations, nor the members of the Security Council at that time did not managed to stop Russia’s military aggression and occupation of Crimea and Donbas.

At the same time, despite all justified criticism of the UN functioning, currently there is no alternative to the UN in terms of safeguarding international peace and security. In recent years this Organization did achieve some positive results: its contribution to the peace cause in Colombia and success of the PKO in Liberia should be carefully studied and the best practices applied in other parts of the world.

Mr. President,

The list of issues, where our Organization could have put its huge potential to a better use for peace is very long and still includes clear-cut challenges of hard security, which constituted main trigger for the very emergence of this Organization.

In Syria an array of tragic events, which includes blatant use of chemical weapon, is unfolding before our eyes. Individuals, responsible for that actions are not brought to justice. But, Russia still remains the only country in the Security Council that prefers to protect both the Al-Assad regime and the ISIL from being held accountable.

While Russia’s regime was busy with doing that, Al-Assad knew it could act with impunity, and he did. Syria had continued to use chemical weapons against its people. It had not declared or destroyed all its chemical weapons, despite its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. The threats from chemical attacks in Syria and in the United Kingdom pose a very serious challenge not only to the non-proliferation regime but to this Organization as it is.

Impunity breeds only impunity. Having shielded its client Al-Assad for the eighth year now – including by the way of 12 vetoes in the Security Council – and getting away with that, Putin went as far as launching an outright aggression against Ukraine and attempting to annex a part of our territory in the most blatant violation of the UN Charter ever.

The world, in fact, witnesses Russia’s regime behavior – either in Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, the United Kingdom or elsewhere – unprecedented since the WWII. It is in fact aggressive attempts to rule the world with no civilized rules to follow.

That horrible chain of crimes and all-round bail must be demolished.

So far, impunity appears to be a decisive obstacle for the Organization’s ability to address challenges to international peace and security. It is true that the long overdue reform of our Organization must be accomplished in order to maintain its once unquestionable credit of trust and restore its ability to take prompt preventive measures.

Mr. President,

Since the UN peacebuilding architecture was created it has been acknowledged that peacebuilding activities are intended to prevent armed conflicts rather than being limited only to post conflict assistance. We have to look at the peacebuilding in a broader perspective and to advance it with greater determination, to consider measures discouraging fragmented approaches. The proposals of the Secretary-General are well in line with such approach.

Enabling countries to put in place effective and inclusive national and local mechanisms and institutions that can address the socio-economic and political root causes and drivers of violent conflict must become a priority for the UN system. These include at foremost issues related to the promotion and protection of human rights and of a prominent role for women in all stages of peace consolidation.

For curbing conflicts and ensuring sustaining peace peacekeeping operations remain one of the most reliable and commonly used instruments in this Organization’s toolbox. While it is clear that a lot still should be done in order to bring the UN peacekeeping up to speed and complexity of contemporary challenges, there are situations when political solutions to the conflicts have no perspectives to be implemented without PKO’s engagement.

For more than 4 years the situation in and around my country stands as an example of unutilized potential of UN peacekeeping. We stand ready to engage constructively at all levels to stop Russia’s military aggression, establish lasting peace and restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. A peacekeeping operation under the UN auspices could be a decisive factor in this process, and we firmly count on further progress on this crucial track. While discussions in relevant formats on this issue are still underway, this Organization should be prepared to play its proper role in the future international mission in Ukraine.

In conclusion, Mr. President, after a lengthy debate in this chamber it is clear that prevention must be a core of sustaining peace activity, but I would like to ask simple but legitimate questions: what has been done by the United Nations to prevent Russia from ruining the rule of law not only on a regional, but on a global level as well? And, more importantly, what exactly we as international community have to undertake to learn these sad lessons for a better sake of future generations?

I thank you.