Statement by H.E. Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, at the UN Security Council meeting

Statement by H.E. Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, at the UN Security Council meeting

Ladies and Gentlemen!

At the outset, I would like to thank the Albanian Presidency of the UN Security Council for promtly convening this meeting following Ukraine’s request and for this opportunity to address you.

All of you, but one representative - a representative of a terrorist state, russia. This person and this flag do not deserve to be among you, as there are no representatives of other terrorists among you.

Unfortunately, as of now, the United Nations does not have a legal definition of the term "terrorist state" agreed by all UN member states. But this war that Russia is waging against Ukraine demonstrates not only the meaning of this notion, but also the urgent need to enshrine it legally - at the United Nations level - and to punish any terrorist state.

Take a look at the events of just a few days in Ukraine - a few of the 125 days of Russia's full-scale war of aggression against our state. On Saturday, June 25, 62 Russian missiles hit our cities. On Sunday, June 26, 10 more missiles. In particular, one of them - on a residential complex in the capital of our state, in Kyiv. Three floors of the house were destroyed. Another rocket exploded in the yard of an ordinary kindergarten.

On Monday - June 27 - a missile strike on Kremenchuk. The person who gave the order could not have been unaware that he was directing the rocket to the regular shopping center - one of many shopping malls that exist in any country in the world. The list of dead 18 people - as of this hour, there may be, unfortunately, more; more than 50 people were injured, dozens more - on the list of missing persons.

And if the Russian state claims that all these casualties are not the result of their missile strike, then I`m now suggesting the United Nations to send either a special representative of the UN Secretary-General or an authorized mission to the site of the terrorist attack in Kremenchuk, so that the UN could find out all necessary information and make sure that it was indeed a Russian missile strike.

Yesterday, the Russian army also struck civilians standing in line for water with rocket artillery. It was in the city of Lysychansk, Luhansk region. Ordinary people. None of them were military. Just a line, waiting for water! Eight people were killed, including a 15-year-old boy named Danilo. The oldest among the dead was 68 years old. And I want you to hear now the names of four women killed by this blow: Victoria, Irina, Elena and Lyudmila.

Kharkiv sustains severe russian strikes almost on a daily basis. Only yesterday, 9 people were killed and 29 were wounded, including five children. I want you to know their names: Oleh, 8 years old; Hryhoriy, 9 years old; Artem, 10 years old; Mykhailo, 11 years old; Hlib, 12 years old. It was a russian artillery strike at ordinary residential buildings.

Today at 5 A.M. Russian army struck Mykolayiv and the city of Ochakiv, Mykolayiv region. In Ochakiv three people were killed. A 6-year-old girl named Eva. A man named Magomet was 76 years old. And a woman named Galyna, 50 years old. Among the wounded –a child, a boy, he is only 3 months old, he was born after the beginning of this full-scale Russian invasion, his name is Volodymyr, and his condition is very heavy - he is in intensive care. Once again: a child, a 3-month-old child.

Two more missiles hit the city of Slavyansk in the Donbas, in the long-suffering Donbas, which Russia has been mocking since 2014. 2 Russian missiles struck the Odesa region just a few hours before my address to you, to the UN Security Council. There has been a strike at Dnipro, a city in central Ukraine. One of the missiles destroyed a car maintenance station - not a military station, but a regular car service ...

And I have a question for you, ladies and gentlemen: “Who does NOT agree that this is terrorism?” If in any part of the world any organization, just as Russia kills Ukrainians, would kill any peaceful civilians, it would definitely be recognized as terrorism. Such an organization would become an enemy to all humankind. Therefore, what is punished at the level of concrete criminals and criminal organizations should not go unpunished for a state that has become a terrorist.

The UN Charter vests on the Security Council "the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security." Article 6 of Section 2 of the UN Charter clearly states that "a Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council."

Although Russia violates the fundamental principles of the United Nations and the international legal order, it has not yet been held accountable at the global level. This country still remains present in the UN bodies and even enjoys the privileges of the seat it holds - the seat of a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which Russia holds only because of the short-sightedness of Cold War-era politicians.

Russia has no right to take part in any discussions and votes on the war against Ukraine, which is completely unprovoked and colonial Russia’s war of aggression. I urge you to deprive the delegation of a terrorist state of its powers in the UN General Assembly. It is possible. Russia has no right to remain in the Security Council. And this path is not as thorny as it may seem to some, if show consistency and political will. This is the only logical option for the UN Charter to remain effective and be respected by all members of the Organization.

Moreover, our Organization has enough power to bring a terrorist state to justice. Chapter 7 of the UN Charter enables for the establishment of a special international tribunal to investigate the actions of the Russian occupiers on the Ukrainian soil. The word "genocide" has been heard many times. You have all seen what the Russian invaders had done in our city of Bucha. Each of you can get information about how many mass graves appeared around the city of Mariupol alone after the Russian army destroyed it. It was a city of half a million population! Now it is only ruins.

In the case of the genocide in Rwanda, the UN Security Council established an International Tribunal within six months since the beginning of the genocide. More than four months have passed since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. More than 8 years have passed since the beginning of Russia's war against Ukraine in Donbas and the occupation of our Crimea, which has been repeatedly condemned by the UN General Assembly.

We must act immediately and do everything to stop russia from killing. Russia must be brought to justice for terrorism, otherwise it can expand terrorist activity to other European and Asian countries - the Baltic states, Poland, Moldova, Kazakhstan - many nations have heard threats from Russian officials and state-affiliated propagandists.

I am grateful to all reliable and civilized states that share our position and help us protect international law and order. This meeting of the Security Council was convened following the Russian attack on Kremenchuk. But, in fact, the meeting of the UN Security Council should not be interrupted at all, it should continue around the clock, day after day, if we would like to address each and every terrorist act of the russian state.

The UN Charter provides us with the toolbox to influence any violator of the rules of the Organization, any aggressor, any terrorist state.

And I urge you to use this toolbox. It is necessary to deprive the Russian delegation of the opportunity to manipulate the UN. It is necessary to make it impossible for Russia to stay in the Security Council as long as its terror continues. It is mandatory to create a Tribunal to investigate everything that the Russian military has done against Ukrainians. And it is necessary to give a legal definition of the term "state terrorism" at the UN level. All of Russia's actions must receive a legal assessment - and global sanctions for disrupting the international legal order.

Thank you! Glory to Ukraine!