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THURSDAY, November 30, 2023

World leaders slam Russia's invasion of Ukraine at UN General Assembly

World leaders slam Russia's invasion of Ukraine at UN General Assembly
WEDNESDAY, September 21, 2022

During the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Russia's invasion of Ukraine was high on the agenda amid soaring prices for energy and food.

Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, denounced Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Tuesday, as world leaders meet at the United Nations in New York.

Draghi said it was imperative to find a lasting solution for peace.

''We can only emerge from crises by looking to the future, with courage and ambition. Our goal is peace. Such peace must be deemed acceptable to Ukraine. The only one that can be lasting and sustainable. So far, Russia has not shown that it wants an end to the conflict,'' he said.

Looking to the future, Draghi said he hoped Russia would ''return to the principles it chose to subscribe to in 1945.''

Russian President Vladimir Putin will only give up his "imperial ambitions" that risk destroying Ukraine and Russia if he recognizes he cannot win the war, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said. 

"This is why we will not accept any peace dictated by Russia and this is why Ukraine must be able to fend off Russia's attack," Scholz said in his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

The return of imperialism, with Putin's war on Ukraine, was not just a disaster for Europe but for the global, rules-based peace order, the chancellor said. He called on the U.N. to defend this from those who would prefer a world where the "strong rule the weak.'' he said.

"Do we watch helplessly as some want to catapult us back into a world order where war is a common means of politics, independent nations must join their stronger neighbours or colonial masters, and prosperity and human rights are a privilege for the lucky few?" Scholz asked.

"Or do we manage together to ensure the multipolar world of the 21st century remains a multilateral world? My answer, as a German and European, is: we must manage it," he added.

World leaders slam Russia's invasion of Ukraine at UN General Assembly

To better achieve this end, the global south needed a greater say in world affairs, Scholz said. With greater responsibility would come greater conviction, he said.

Scholz announced Berlin would host a conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine on Oct. 25. Germany would help the Kyiv government with the "enormous cost of rebuilding the country," Scholz added.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, addressing the United Nations General Assembly, condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as destabilising the international order to its core and said the rule of law, not coercion by power, should prevail.

World leaders slam Russia's invasion of Ukraine at UN General Assembly

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a conduct that tramples the philosophy and principles of the U.N. charter ... It should never be tolerated," Kishida said.

Kishida, who hails from Hiroshima, the first city to ever suffer an atomic bombing, also denounced the threat of nuclear weapons by Russia.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, and, shortly after, Russian President Vladimir Putin obliquely raised the possibility of a nuclear strike.

Last month, a Russian diplomat said at the United Nations that the conflict in Ukraine did not warrant Russia's use of nuclear weapons, but Moscow could decide to use its nuclear arsenal in response to "direct aggression" by NATO countries over the invasion.

"The threat of nuclear weapons, like what Russia did this time, let alone the use of them, are serious threats to peace and safety of the international community, and are never be acceptable," Kishida said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine also dominated the Polish president's address to the United Nations General Assembly, in which he said, Russia's war "must be lost."

While the conflict has garnered much attention since it began earlier this year, it is naturally of special significance to Poland, which shares a border with Ukraine.

World leaders slam Russia's invasion of Ukraine at UN General Assembly

Speaking at the UNGA, Polish President Adrzej Duda embraced the righteousness of the Ukrainian cause.

But it is for further, more concrete reasons that Russia's invasion fully occupied the time given to Duda at the U.N.

As he explained during his speech, Duda's nation of 38 million residents has seen an uptick of some two or three million since the conflict began seven months ago.

But the masses swelling into Poland have been taken care of by the country, its leader said, with all having been provided with "dignified accommodation."

Romania’s President Klaus Werner Iohannis also broached Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly and said there was “no justification for bloodshed, destruction, and human suffering”.

World leaders slam Russia's invasion of Ukraine at UN General Assembly

Iohannis said that since February more than 2.3 million Ukrainians have fled to Romania, where they are granted access to education, health services, and the labour market.

According to Iohannis, Romania is trying to help manage the global food crisis and has assisted to export four million tons of Ukrainian grain.

World leaders slam Russia's invasion of Ukraine at UN General Assembly

French President Emmanuel Macron accused Russia of modern-day imperialism that was based on the law of the jungle and pleaded for neutral countries to stop being complicit by remaining silent about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In a speech to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, Macron warned that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was dividing the world and restoring the "age of imperialism and colonies."

"I know that there are countries here that have chosen a form of neutrality vis-a-vis this war. But I want to tell you with honesty today, those who think that are not aligned they are wrong they are making a historic error" Macron said in a 30-minute speech that called on countries to no longer sit on the fence.

"Russia, a permanent member of the security council, through an act of aggression, an invasion, an annexation broke our collective security, it deliberately violated the UN Charter and the principles of sovereign equality of states," he said.

Macron dismissed the narrative that the West was trying to defend outdated values to serve its interests and that the rest of the world had suffered because of it.

Western allies have been competing with Russia for diplomatic influence since the Kremlin began its invasion on Feb. 24.

Putin on Feb. 24 ordered what he calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine to root out dangerous nationalists and "denazify" the country. The war has killed thousands, destroyed cities and sent millions fleeing their homes in the former Soviet republic.