International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace: Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell
77 years ago the world came together to sign the United Nations Charter and “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. Today, as the world faces one of the greatest challenges to the global peace architecture – Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine – the UN Charter is more significant than ever.
On the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, we – the European Union – reaffirm our unwavering commitment to rules-based multilateralism and global governance. Together with our partners, we will continue to work to make the world a safer place to live – by defending democracy and the universality of human rights for all and promoting global peace and security. Human rights apply to everyone, everywhere.
Just as the world was beginning to heal from the extraordinary challenges posed by the pandemic, Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine threw the world into even more uncertain times. This aggression against Ukraine is not only a humanitarian catastrophe for Ukraine and its people, it is also a blatant violation of international law.
The world needs more multilateral co-operation. Nations from every corner of the world have united at the UN General Assembly in calling for peace, demanding that Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw from the territory of Ukraine, demanding civilian protection and humanitarian access in Ukraine, and expressing concern about the increased global food insecurity caused by the conflict, in particular in the least developed countries.
Breaches of international law have consequences. The European Union supports all measures to ensure accountability for abuses and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law wherever they take place. Atrocities will not go unpunished. The perpetrators of war crimes and other serious violations will be held accountable.
We welcome and support the ongoing work to investigate and gather evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including by the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor, the Commission of Inquiry mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, the Human Rights Monitoring Mission Ukraine of the OHCHR, and the OSCE’s mission of experts mandated by OSCE Participating States.
It is through these multilateral fora that the process of accountability and the delivery of justice can be ensured.
It is through multilateral actions that we can re-establish security and build sustained peace for all. We owe it to the victims of conflicts and to their families, to ourselves and to future generations.