One Year Since Russia’s Full-scale Invasion of Ukraine - Address by H.E. Ambassador Jorge Toledo, Ambassador of the European Union to China
Dear Colleagues, Friends,
I would like to thank you all for turning up today at the EU Delegation to mark one year of the start of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, an aggression that unfortunately continues today.
Thanks also to Zhanna – Charge d ’Affairs of Ukraine, whom I have invited here today as our guest of honour – to reaffirm EU’s unwavering solidarity with the country and the people of Ukraine. A solidarity that we share with many other countries also represented here today.
In 1945, according to the preamble of the U.N. Charter, the United Nations was created in order to –– “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”
And according to art.2 of the Charter: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”.
That is, the United Nations was created to avoid exactly the kind of brutality that has brought us together here today as we mark a year since the unprovoked and illegal aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine started.
Aggression, invasion and the organisation of sham so-called “referenda” by the invader to illegally annex the Ukrainian territories, is a as blatant a violation of the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine as there can be and thus, a blatant violation of one of the founding principles of the United Nations
There is no ambiguity in the UN Charter. There has never been and there cannot be “so called” legitimate security concerns to justify this war of aggression and such a violation of the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine.
In the face of this brutal invasion, the 141 countries invited here today, were quick in their collective decision not to stand by. In the face of a clear-cut breach of the UN Charter we decided to act.
By giving our votes in support of the UN General Assembly resolution on the “Aggression against Ukraine”, adopted on 2 March, just a week after the start of the invasion, we took a firm, united, and clear stance in condemnation of Russia’s actions and in support of Ukraine.
I am very happy and proud to say that the United Nations General Assembly spoke again for the sixth time in one year yesterday. 141 countries – our countries – voted again to stand by Ukraine and act to uphold the UN Charter.
Together we have made it very clear to the world who is the ‘aggressor’ and who is the ‘victim’. And in this way, the Resolution also forms the fundamental building block towards a comprehensive and lasting peace.
We have unfortunately not seen Russia heeding to our unequivocal call by immediately end its invasion of Ukraine and unconditionally withdraw its military.
Instead, throughout the past year, the tragedy of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has continued to play out. Every day, we continue to bear witness to this tragedy, to inhumane and brutal crimes against the people of Ukraine that continue to expose the abhorrent nature of this aggressor.
Such actions, however, only strengthen our resolve to uphold the values, norms and principles created 78 years ago. We shall continue to uphold them and we will oppose any attempt to hollow out their substance in the name of new ambiguous concepts that have no base whatsoever in the UN Charter.
High Representative and Vice President Borrell has just said that what this war comes down to is a decision about the kind of world we all want to live in.
No one is safe in a world where the illegal use of force – more so, by a nuclear power and permanent member of the Security Council – would somehow be ‘normalised’.
All nations must abide by and uphold the principles, values and rules of the UN Charter. But the five Permanent Members of the Security Council have a special responsibility to defend the Charter in the face of this kind of aggression. This why we continue to call on our host, China, to fulfil its special responsibility.
I thank you all for coming today and I thank you for your continued determination in support of Ukraine. We all commend Ukraine’s remarkable resilience and resolve.
We shall not weaken ours.