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Connect the World
United Nations Security Council Briefing on Ukraine. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired April 05, 2022 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): I'm Becky Anderson. It is 6:00 pm in Abu Dhabi on April 5th; 41 long days into Russia's war on Ukraine.
Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.
Well, any moment now, we expect to hear from Ukraine's president as he addresses the U.N. Security Council for the first time since Russia's
brutal and unprovoked invasion began.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is accusing Moscow of genocide, after witnessing firsthand evidence of alleged war crimes in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha. He
now says negotiations with Vladimir Putin may no longer be possible.
We must warn you, what you are about to see is graphic and difficult to watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON (voice-over): Horrific images and stories still being uncovered, following Russia's retreat from the battered city. CNN witnessed bodies
being removed from a Bucha basement on Monday.
According to Ukrainian officials, these men have been tortured and executed. President Zelenskyy says more than 300 people were killed in
Bucha alone and warns the death toll could be even higher in other liberated cities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON (voice-over): Meanwhile, Russia claims the situation there is "fake" and the bodies, quote, "staged." But new satellite images debunk
those allegations. On the left, pictures from a video taken on Friday, showing lifeless bodies of civilians mercilessly scattered along the
On the right, satellite images taken more than two weeks ago, when Bucha was under Russian control, showing what appears to be those same bodies
lying in exactly the same spots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, we are waiting on the start of the U.N. Security Council. Its primary responsibility, of course, is for the maintenance of
international peace and security. Ahead of Zelenskyy's speech there today, let's get you to senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth, standing by; a
friend of the show, Stephen Collinson, senior reporter with CNN Politics.
Richard, the purpose of this session of the Security Council today is what exactly?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: The purpose, for many countries, the big Western countries especially, keep the pressure on
Russia, isolate the government as much as possible. It takes time to see if there is any effectiveness.
We have, amid thousands of meetings, where people drone on inside the Security Council, high drama, a lot at stake today with President Zelenskyy
by video line, going to address the council.
He is definitely going to, as he did with NATO, put a little bit of heat and pressure on to say he needs help, weapons, backing for accountability
for those responsible for the deaths that he saw, the bodies in the streets of Bucha yesterday.
But again, at the end of the line, as you know, Russia sits with a veto in the Security Council chamber, as a founding member of the U.N. and the
council. And that veto stands ready to block anything.
Now there is a lot of action here at the U.N. because the U.S. wants the General Assembly to vote Russia off the Human Rights Council, which sits in
Geneva. All you need is a two-thirds vote and there's no veto in the General Assembly.
So with the two major chambers of the United Nations heavily involved in the Ukraine issue.
ANDERSON: Let me bring in Stephen Collinson here.
As we await this speech and, as Richard has suggested, aside from the symbolism, the opportunity to speak to the chamber and the wider world, who
will be watching, what do we believe can actually be achieved today?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think, first of all, this is going to be one of the most emotionally charged moments we have
seen in international diplomacy for some time.
Of course, President Zelenskyy went to visit the site of those atrocities in Bucha yesterday. He's coming fresh from that.
And we also have seen a number of his addresses to various parliaments and legislatures around the world, in which he's put it in very emotional and
stark terms. He's naming what's going on in Ukraine and he's shaming the West to do more.
But Richard is right; the mechanics of the U.N. and the way that it was set up after the Second World War make it very difficult for that to be used as
a primary venue for war crimes --
COLLINSON: -- investigations and everything else, that can come to fruition and actually bring Russia and President Putin to account. There
has been talk of the G7 group of nations trying to set up some kind of tribunal.
But of course, without the idea of international legitimacy that the U.N. brings, it would be easier for Russia, potentially a nation like China,
that has no interest in the U.N., acting or anybody else acting to track down the human rights abuses, to block that.
So a lot of this is symbolism. There is a point where it is important for the world to witness this. But the tragedy of the Ukrainians is that, for
all the sanctions and the weapons that are pouring into that country, the international isolation of Russia, which is now a pariah nation, that
didn't help these civilians, who have been gunned down in Bucha.
And it does very little to help those who are in places like Mariupol, in cities like that, that are besieged by Russia. It's just a deep and stark
tragedy that is unfolding before the world's eyes.
ANDERSON: To both of you, stand by; we're going to keep an eye on what is going on in this chamber. As we get some action there, we will get it to
our viewers and I'll bring you back in. It may take a little bit of time. This was scheduled to start at the top of the hour.
Of course, the revolving presidency of the UNSC this month is with Barbara Woodward, the U.K. ambassador to the United Nations. So she will open
proceedings and we will move on from there.
That is Barbara Woodward, just there in her seat. Let's just stand by and see whether we get her opening statements.
Yes, we will.
Let's listen in.
BARBARA WOODWARD, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: -- order.
I give the floor to the Russian Federation.
VASILY NEBENZIA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS (through translator): Madam President, before we adopt the agenda, I'd like to
express our protest in connection with the fact that (INAUDIBLE) just started British presidency dealt with our two requests to convene a
Security Council in connection with the horrific provocation of the Ukrainian forces in Bucha.
Now from the beginning, the first meeting, which we requested on Sunday, 3rd of April, for Monday at 3:00 pm and then an emergency meeting, which we
requested 12 o'clock on the 4th of April, after you refused our first request, we considered that it was -- you considered that it was possible
to blatantly violate the rules of the council.
And the second time issued a decision that wasn't coordinated with anyone, that it would be better to discuss this topic today.
This is an outrageous situation, set out in my letter to you yesterday, as an official document of the council.
I would like to ask you, on what basis do you feel that you can act in such an outrageous way, in the contravention of all existing norms and rules?
Don't you know that, in case you don't agree with our proposal, you should have convened a meeting and put forward the issue of the advisability of
holding a meeting for a vote?
Especially since you should have had before you the example of our presidency, where we didn't refuse a single time to convene any of the six
meetings on Ukraine. We demand an explanation from you.
And we hope that, in the future, you will not challenge the right of members of the Security Council to request a meeting enshrined in Rule 2.
NEBENZIA: -- the Security Council and the request of any member of the Security Council.
(Speaking foreign language).
NEBENZIA (through translator): Thank you.
WOODWARD: I thank the reference to both (ph) the Russian Federation.
Is there anyone else to comment on this?
I will explain the presidency's position in just a moment.
If I could respond to your points, from the Russian Federation, we did not reject your request for meeting. We received your letter on Sunday. And it
is the responsibility, the obligation of the presidency to schedule a meeting.
You particularly requested a meeting for a time on Monday. Our proposal as presidency was to schedule the meeting either alongside the meeting today.
WOODWARD: So well within the 48-hour limit, which is the convention of the Security Council, or to hold the meetings sequentially, one after the
And I understand that the Russian Federation turned down both proposals. But I wish to be clear that we did not reject the request for a meeting.
The deferral proposed was less than 24 hours.
And to be clear, we share the view that this is an urgent situation and we have, as I say, offered the Russian Federation either a separate meeting
today or to combine it with this one.
And so, as far as the presidency is concerned, we did everything in line with the provisional rules of procedure and with precedent. We have
received no other complaints from council members on the subject. I give the floor to the Russian Federation.
NEBENZIA (through translator): Thank you. We have evidence, factual evidence, that this was no less than 24 hours before the meeting that we
requested. This is confirmed in documents, if anyone is interested. We can provide proof.
But I want to express the hope that what you said today means that you will not, in the future, refuse member states of the Security Council to hold
the meetings when they request for. Thank you.
WOODWARD: I thank the representative of the Russian Federation. The presidency will not refuse to host meetings in the future. And I hope that
that now closes that point and we can proceed with the adoption of the agenda.
The provisional agenda for this meeting is letter dated the 28th of February, 2014, from the permanent representative of Ukraine to the United
Nations, addressed to the president of the Security Council S/2014/136.
The agenda is adopted.
I should like to start by taking the opportunity to pay tribute, on behalf of this council, to Her Excellency, Lana Nusseibeh, the Permanent
Representative of the United Arab Emirates for your service as the president of the council for the month of March.
I'm sure I speak for all of us in expressing our deep appreciation to Ambassador Nusseibeh and her team for the skillful conduct of the council's
business last month. Thank you very much indeed to your team.
In accordance with Rule 37 of the council's provisional rules of procedure, I invite the representative of Ukraine to participate in this meeting.
It is so decided.
On behalf of the council, I welcome the participation of His Excellency, Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine and just add that, as
usual precedent, the permanent representative of Ukraine will also join the meeting, in case of any technical issues.
In accordance with Rule 39 of the council's provisional rules of procedure, I invite the following briefers to participate in this meeting: Ms.
Rosemary DiCarlo, Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and Mr. Martin Griffiths, Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian
Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator.
It is so decided.
In accordance with Rule 39 of the council's provisional rules of procedure, I also invite His Excellency, Mr. Olof Skoog, head of delegation of the
European Union to the United Nations to participate in this meeting.
It is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of item 2 of the agenda. I wish to warmly welcome His Excellency, the Secretary-General, His
Excellency, Mr. Antonio Guterres. And I give him the floor.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: Madam President, Excellencies, the war in Ukraine is one of the greatest challenges ever to
the international order and the global peace architecture, founded on the United Nations Charter.
Because of its nature, intensity and consequences.
We are dealing with the full-fledged invasion, on several fronts, of one member state of the United Nations, Ukraine, by another, the Russian
Federation -- a permanent member of the Security Council -- in violation of the United Nations Charter and with several aims, including redrawing the
internationally-recognized borders between the two countries.
The war has led to senseless loss of life, massive devastation in urban centers and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.
I will never forget the horrifying images of civilians killed in Bucha.
I immediately called for an independent investigation to guarantee effective accountability.
I am also deeply shocked by the personal testimony of rapes and sexual violence that are now emerging.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights has spoken of possible war crimes, grave breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of
international human rights law.
The war has displaced more than ten million people in just one month -- the fastest forced population movement since the Second World War.
Far beyond Ukraine's borders, the war has led to massive increases in the prices of food, energy and fertilizers, because Russia and Ukraine are
linchpins of these markets.
It has disrupted supply chains and increased the cost of transportation, putting even more pressure on the developing world.
Many developing countries were already on the verge of debt collapse, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of adequate liquidity and
debt relief, stemming ultimately from the unfair nature of our global economic and financial system.
For all these reasons, it is more urgent by the day to silence the guns.
That is why I asked the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, to travel to Russia and Ukraine to press for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire.
Under-Secretary-General Griffiths will update you on the humanitarian situation and the results of his contacts so far.
Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo will also brief you on the political dimensions.
But as Secretary-General of the United Nations, it is my duty to call the attention of the council to the serious damage being done to the global
economy and particularly to vulnerable people and developing countries.
Madam President, our analysis indicates that 74 developing countries, with a total population of 1.2 billion people, are particularly vulnerable to
spiking food, energy and fertilizer costs.
Debt obligations take up some 16 percent of developing countries' export earnings. In small island developing states, the figure is 34 percent and
rising, because of increased interest rates and the need to pay for expensive imports.
In the past month alone, wheat prices have increased by 22 percent, maize by 21 percent and barley by 31 percent.
Brent oil prices on 1 April were more than 60 percent higher than at the same time last year. A series of events have led to that not only the
Natural gas and fertilizer prices more than doubled over the same period.
We are already seeing some countries move from vulnerability into crisis and signs of serious social unrest.
The flames of conflict are fueled by inequality, deprivation and underfunding.
With all the warning signals flashing red, we have a duty to act.
Madam President, the Global Crisis Response Group on food, energy and finance that I set up last month has formulated some initial
recommendations for the consideration of member states, International Financial Institutions and others.
On food, we are urging all countries to keep markets open, resist unjustified and unnecessary export restrictions and make reserves available
to countries at risk of hunger and famine. This is not the time for protectionism.
Humanitarian appeals must be fully funded.
People caught up in crisis around the world cannot pay the price for this war.
On energy: the use of strategic stockpiles and additional reserves could help to ease this energy crisis in the short term.
But the only medium- and long-term solution is to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, which is not impacted by market fluctuations.
This will allow the progressive phase-out of coal and all other fossil fuels.
Renewables are already cheaper in most cases.
GUTERRES: And on finance: international financial institutions must go into emergency mode.
We need urgent action by the G20 and international financial institutions to increase liquidity and fiscal space so that governments can provide
safety nets for the poorest and most vulnerable.
The reform I have been calling for of the global financial system is long overdue.
All these actions are closely linked with the prevention agenda and with building and sustaining peace.
Madam President, the war in Ukraine must stop -- now.
We need serious negotiations for peace, based on the principles of the United Nations Charter.
This Council is charged with maintaining peace -- and doing so in solidarity.
I deeply regret the divisions that have prevented the Security Council from acting not only on Ukraine but on other threats to peace and security
around the world.
I urge the council to do everything in its power to end the war and to mitigate its impact, both on the suffering people of Ukraine and on
vulnerable people and developing countries around the world.
WOODWARD: I thank the secretary-general for his remarks. I now give the floor to Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo.
ROSEMARY DICARLO, U.N. UNDERSECRETARY-GENERAL: Thank you.
Madam President, since I last briefed this council on 17 March, the security situation in Ukraine has seriously deteriorated. The number of
Ukrainian civilians killed has more than doubled. Ukrainian cities continue to be mercilessly pounded, often indiscriminately, by heavy artillery and
And hundreds of thousands of people, including children, the elderly and the disabled, remain trapped in encircled areas under nightmarish
conditions. The devastation wrought on Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities is one of the shameful hallmarks of this senseless war.
The horror deepened this past weekend, as shocking images emerged of dead civilians, some with hands bound, lying in the streets of Bucha, the town
near Kyiv formerly held by Russian forces. Many bodies were also found in a mass grave in the same locality.
Reports by non-governmental organizations and media also allege summary executions of civilians, rape and looting in the Chernihiv, Kharkiv and
Madam President, away from the fighting, diplomatic efforts to end this war, including direct talks between Ukrainian and Russian representatives,
have continued. We commend the government of Turkey for hosting these discussions, as well as the efforts of many others engaging with Russia and
Ukraine to help bring about peace.
We welcome the willingness of the sides to continue engaging to reach a mutual understanding. This requires good faith and earnest efforts. Any
progress in the negotiations should be translated quickly into action on the ground.
While there has been a reported reduction of Russian troops and attacks around Kyiv and Chernihiv, such moves should not be merely tactical,
repositioning forces for renewed attacks on Ukrainian cities and towns elsewhere. The General Assembly has twice called for Russian forces to
withdraw entirely from Ukrainian territory and cease all military operations.
We also take note of the reported withdrawal of Russian forces from around the Chernobyl nuclear site. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports
that this development will hopefully allow it to conduct an assistance and support mission to provide technical advice and to deliver equipment, where
necessary, as soon as possible.
All nuclear sites in Ukraine must be fully protected and secured. Military operations in or around these locations must be avoided.
Madam President, the numbers tell a tragic, if yet incomplete, story. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least
1,480 civilians have been killed and at least 2,195 injured between 24 February and 4 April 2022. OHCHR believes that the actual figures are
We are gravely concerned by the persistent use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area in or near populated areas. Such weapons are causing most
civilian casualties as well as massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, including residential buildings, hospitals, schools, water
stations and electricity systems.
DICARLO: OHCHR has received credible allegations that Russian forces have used cluster munitions in populated areas at least 24 times. Allegations
that Ukrainian forces have used such weapons are also being investigated.
As noted by the High Commissioner, indiscriminate attacks are prohibited under international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes. The
massive destruction of civilian objects and the high number of civilian casualties strongly indicate that the fundamental principles of
distinction, proportionality and precaution have not been sufficiently adhered to.
In besieged cities, a significant increase in mortality rates among civilians can also be attributed to the disruption of medical care and
basic services. People with disabilities and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. As of 4 April 2022, the World Health Organization has reported
a total of 85 attacks on health care facilities resulting in at least 72 fatalities and 43 injuries.
Madam President, we are seriously concerned about reports of cases of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances of persons who have been
vocal against the Russian invasion.
As of 30 March, OHCHR has documented the arbitrary detention and possible enforced disappearance of 22 journalists and civil society members in Kyiv,
Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhya regions. 24 local officials have also been detained in regions under Russian control, 13 of whom have been
We call for the immediate release of all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained, including journalists, local officials, civil society
activists and others.
Also as of 30 March, OHCHR has recorded seven journalists and media workers killed since hostilities began. Another 15 have come under armed attack,
nine of whom were injured.
Allegations of conflict-related sexual violence perpetrated by Russian forces have also emerged. These include gang rape and rapes in front of
There are also claims of sexual violence by Ukrainian forces and civil defense militias. The U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine
continues to seek to verify all these allegations.
We are also concerned about disturbing videos depicting abuse of prisoners of war on both sides. All prisoners of war must be treated with dignity and
full respect for their rights in accordance with international humanitarian law.
Madam President, the many credible allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, from
areas recently retaken from Russian forces, must not go unanswered.
We support efforts to examine these allegations and to gather evidence. Ensuring accountability and justice for acts committed during the war will
not be easy, but it is essential.
Madam President, we are heartened by the generosity of neighboring countries who have accepted millions of refugees and the solidarity of
Ukrainian people, who are hosting their displaced compatriots.
With more than 10 million people displaced either within Ukraine or abroad as refugees -- or roughly one-quarter of the population -- the United
Nations is gravely concerned about the heightened risk of human trafficking.
Indeed, suspected and verified cases of human trafficking are surfacing in the surrounding countries, according to the International Organization for
Madam President, this war is devastating Ukraine now, but it also threatens its future. Early assessment projections by UNDP suggest that if the war
continues through 2022, Ukraine faces the prospect of seeing 18 years of socio-economic progress lost.
This would set the country -- and the region -- back decades and leave deep long-term social and economic fissures.
U.N. agencies, including UNDP, are working to help preserve Ukraine's hard- won development gains. This involves supporting the Government to sustain essential governance structures and basic services, including emergency
measures to sustain livelihoods, such as cash-based assistance.
Madam President, the war in Ukraine has damaged Europe's security architecture. Its economic repercussions are already evident far from the
DICARLO: The longer the war continues, the greater the risk that it will further weaken the global institutions and mechanisms dedicated to preserve
peace and security.
The war was started by choice. There is no inevitability to it or to the suffering it is causing. The United Nations is ready to do everything
within its means to help bring an end to it.
Thank you, Madam President.
WOODWARD: I thank Ms. DiCarlo for her briefing. And I now give the floor to Mr. Martin Griffiths.
MARTIN GRIFFITHS, U.N. UNDERSECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS: Thank you, Madam President.
As you just heard from the secretary-general and Undersecretary-General DiCarlo, Ukrainian civilians are paying far too high a price for this war.
I want to speak briefly about humanitarian needs and what we're doing to meet them before I then refer to my recent travels.
In the last six weeks, as we have heard, at least 1,430 people have been killed; among them, over 121 children. We know this is very likely a
serious underestimate. Homes and civilian infrastructure, bridges, hospitals, schools have been damaged and destroyed.
And in fact, the current figures on displacement tell us that more than 11.3 million people have now been forced to flee their homes and, of that,
4.2 million are now refugees in those generous neighboring countries that Rosemary has just been referring to.
So in total, more than a quarter of the population of Ukraine has fled in this extraordinary short time.
Unfortunately we can imagine that these figures will continue to rise until we can find a pause and some peace. Madam President, the ground and air
offenses and counteroffenses are making life nearly impossible for many civilians in Ukraine.
Families, the elderly, women and children have been trapped by fighting already for too long. For more than five weeks the people of Mariupol have
been caught up in the fighting. And it is well documented that really Mariupol is a center of hell.
Other cities, like Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv, remain cut off from essential goods and services. And perilous conditions are hampering our
efforts to access civilians or for them to access us.
And we restate here that civilians must be allowed to move to safer areas without the fear of attacks and at their own choice and at their own
It is vital that all parties to the conflict respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and to allow
impartial humanitarian organizations safe, rapid, unimpeded access to all civilians in need wherever they are in Ukraine.
Madam President, as the world watches, humanitarian needs soar in Ukraine. The United Nations and our partner organizations are making every effort to
dramatically increase our support to affected civilians.
The work of the 6,000 volunteers from the Ukraine Red Cross, as we have mentioned before in this chamber, together with local NGOs in Eastern
Ukraine, these people, these organizations, continue to work tirelessly at the front line of assistance to communities.
The World Food Programme has reached more than 1.3 million people with cash and food assistance and plans to push that number up to 2.5 million people
in this month.
Health partners report that more than 180 tons of medical supplies were delivered in Ukraine, with another 470 tons on the way. This would address
the health needs of around 6 million people in the months ahead.
And I'm pleased to say that seems an odd word to say in the context of Ukraine that, after much effort in the past day, another convoy went from
our humanitarian hub in Dnipro to the far east.
Today, food, winter clothing, nonfood items, medicine, hygiene kits are offloaded to Ukraine Red Cross and will reach the hands of those most in
Indeed, following notification to both parties, a formal process that we and also the International Red Cross are engaged in, four convoys in total
from the U.N. have provided critical support to people in some of the cities encircled by war and affected by ongoing fighting.
GRIFFITHS: Several more are planned. So these are initial steps that gives us a basis to now expand in taking our efforts up to scale and expanding
much more than one convoy a day.
As the secretary-general and the undersecretary-general has already said, I want to also join them in expressing my concern over the growing number of
reports we received of human trafficking, sexual violence, exploitation and abuse in Ukraine and the region.
And there is such horrific incidents as we're seeing, they overwhelmingly impact displaced women and children more than others. We're bolstering
protection and gender-based violence services through agencies to provide specialized care for survivors and through the wealth of civil society
organizations in Ukraine.
These services are designed, carried out directly in collaboration with and through Ukrainian civil society, including, very particularly, women-led
Madam President, today I'm addressing you from Geneva, having just returned from Moscow overnight.
As you know the secretary-general, as you said, charged me to bring both sides together on humanitarian grounds to explore both specific and
sustained ways to reduce humanitarian suffering, including, in particular, the pursuit of a humanitarian cease-fire.
Yesterday, in Moscow, I had long and frank exchanges with the minister of foreign affairs, Sergey Lavrov, and his deputy, Sergey Vershinin and then
separately with Alexander Fomin, the deputy minister of defense.
In my meetings with these senior officials, I discussed also, in addition to these possibilities of humanitarian cease-fires, I discussed the issue
of humanitarian convoys, of safe passage, including the four which I already referred to.
I outlined possibilities for building further on that cooperation, sharing specific suggestions for mutually agreed-upon military freezes to allow for
evacuation of civilians and for the safe passage of lifesaving aid; in effect, for humanitarian pauses in different parts of Ukraine to save lives
and bring back a modicum of safety for those living in those places.
My counterparts in Moscow received these suggestions, assured me of their intent to carefully study those ideas, which I left with them. And we
agreed to remain in close contact. And I came away from these meetings believing that we have a very long road, a long road ahead of us. But it
must be traveled.
And, Madam President, we will travel it. Tomorrow I hope to travel, I plan to travel to Ukraine, to have discussions with senior authorities from the
Ukrainian government in Kyiv on Thursday, on these same issues and others that they will, no doubt, present to me.
And also to see firsthand with our crisis coordinator, Amin Awad, the humanitarian response.
Madam President, thanks to generous donor contributions, many from governments in this chamber, the humanitarian response since February has
indeed been scaled up, allowing us to meet the needs of 1.5 million people.
We will need sustained financial support for needs in Ukraine. And like the secretary-general, I want to stress, as he has done consistently, that
funding must not be diverted from other crises.
And Madam President --
GRIFFITHS: -- through Afghanistan. That is one example. And as you heard from David Beasley last week, conflict, climate shocks, COVID, compounded
by the soaring food and fuel costs indicated by the secretary general, could push another 47 million people globally into severe food insecurity.
And so the total number of people around the world who will not know where their next meal comes from could be driven to the astonishing figure of 325
million people around the world.
That is, by a long distance, the highest in our recent history and well over double what was -- what it was three years ago.
GRIFFITHS: So Madam President, I remind the council of what the council already knows well, the world cannot afford to war and neither can the
people of Ukraine.
And like others, I call on all council members and member states with influence to support all efforts, from whatever part they come from, in the
pursuit of peace and the alleviation of humanitarian suffering.
For the sake of the people of Ukraine, for the sake of those around the world, we cannot afford to bear the additional burden this war imposes on
them. And all of us, we must as the secretary-general said, silence the guns.
Thank you, Madam President.
WOODWARD: I thank Mr. Griffiths for his briefing. I now give the floor to His Excellency, Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine.
You have the floor, sir.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Thank you very much, Dear Madam Chairman, dear Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished
members of the Security Council and other members of this meeting. Thank you very much for this opportunity.
I'm sure that all the representatives of the United Nations member states will hear me today. Yesterday I returned from our city of Bucha, recently
liberated from Russian troops, not far from Kyiv.
So there is not a single crime that they would not commit there. The Russian military surge for in purposefully killed anyone who served our
country. They killed -- shot and killed women outside their houses, when they just tried to call someone who is alive.
They killed entire families, adults and children and they tried to burn the bodies. I am addressing you on behalf of the people, who honor the memory
of the deceased every single day, in the memory of civilians who died, who were shot and killed in the back of their head after being tortured.
Some of them were shot on the streets. Others were thrown into the wells. So they died there in suffering. They were killed in their apartments,
houses, blowing up grenades. The civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road just for their pleasure.
They cut off limbs, cut their throats, slashed their throats. Women were raped and killed in front of their children. They were -- their tongues
were pulled out, only because the aggressor did not hear what they wanted to hear from them.
So this is no different from other terrorists, such as daish, who occupied some territories. And here it is done by a member of the United Nations
Security Council, destroying internal unitic (ph) borders, countries and taking the ride (ph) of more than a dozen countries, who are self-
determined and independent.
They pursued consistent policy of destroying ethnic and religious diversity. They enflamed wars and deliberately lead them in such a way that
to kill as many regular civilians and cities, to leave the country where they deployed their troops in ruins and filled with mass graves.
You all see that. And they support hatred at the level of the state and seek to export it to other countries through their system of propaganda and
They provoke a global food crisis that could lead to famine in Africa, Asia and other countries and will surely end, in large case, political chaos in
many countries and destroying their domestic security.
So where is the security that the Security Council needs to guarantee?
It is not there, although there is a Security Council.
And so where is the peace?
What were those guarantees that the United Nations needs to guarantee?
It is obvious that the key institution of the world, which must ensure the coercion of any aggressive to peace, simply cannot work effectively.
Now the world can see that the Russian -- what Russian military did in Bucha, while keeping the city under their occupation. But the world has yet
to see what they have done in other occupied cities and regions of our country.
Geography might be different of areas but cruelty is the same. Crimes are the same. And accountability must be inevitable.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to remind you of Article 1, Chapter 1 of the U.N. Charter.
ZELENSKYY (through translator): What is the purpose of our organization?
Its purpose is to maintain peace and make sure that peace is adhered to. And now the U.N. Charter is violated literally, starting with the Article
And if so, what is the point of all other articles?
Today, as a result of Russia's actions in our country, in Ukraine, the most terrible war crimes of all times are -- we see since the end of World War
II. And they are being committed.
Russian troops are deliberately destroying Ukrainian cities to ashes by -- with artillery and airstrike. They are deliberately blocking city, creating
mass starvation. They deliberately shoot columns of civilians on the road, trying to escape from territory of hostilities.
They even deliberately blow up shelters where civilians hide from airstrikes. They are deliberately creating conditions in the temporarily
occupied territories so that as many civilians as possible are killed there.
The massacre in our city of Bucha is only one, unfortunately, only one of many examples of what the occupiers have been doing on our land for the
past 41 days. And there are many more cities, similar places, where the world has yet to learn the full truth -- Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv,
(INAUDIBLE) and dozens other Ukrainian communities, each of them is similar to Bucha.
I know and you know perfectly well what the representatives of Russia will say in response to the accusations of these crimes. They have said that,
many times, the most significant was after they are shooting down of the Malaysia Boeing over Donbas, by Russian forces, with Russian weapons or
during the war in Syria.
They will blame everyone, just to justify their own actions. They will say that there are various versions, different versions, that is impossible to
establish which one of those versions is true.
They will even say that the bodies were -- of those killed were allegedly thrown away and all videos are staged.
But it is 2022 now. We have conclusive evidence. There are satellite images. And we can conduct full and transparent investigation that this is
what we are interested in, maximum access for journalists, maximum cooperation with international institutions, involvement of the
International Criminal Court, complete and full accountability.
I'm sure that every member state of the U.N. should be interested in this.
In order to punish, once and for all, those who consider themselves privileged and believe that they can get away with anything. So show all
the other potential war criminals in the world how they will be punished; if the big biggest one is punished, then everyone is punished.
Why did Ukraine (sic) come to Ukraine?
I will tell you, because Russia's leadership feels like colonizers in ancient times. They need our wealth, our people. Russia has already
deported hundreds of thousands of our citizens to their country. They abducted more than 2,000 children, just simply conducted that, those
children, and continue to do so.
Russia wants to turn Ukraine into silent slaves. The Russian military are looting openly the cities and villages there they have captured. This is
wide-scale looting. They are stealing everything, starting with food, ending with earrings, gold earrings, that are pulled out with -- and
covered with blood.
We are dealing with a state that is turning the veto into -- the U.N. Security Council into the right to die. This undermines the whole
architecture of global security. It allows them to go unpunished. So they're destroying everything they can.
So the -- we -- if this continues, the countries will be -- rely only on the power of their own arms to ensure their security and not on
international law, not rely on international institutions. The United Nations can simply be closed.
Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to close the U.N.?
Do you think that the time of international law is gone?
If your answer is no, then you need to act immediately.
ZELENSKYY (through translator): The U.N. Charter must be restored immediately. The U.N. system must be reformed immediately, so that the veto
is not the right to die, that there is a fair representation in the Security Council of all region of the world.
The aggressor must be brought to peace immediately. Determination is needed. The massacre, from Syria to Somalia, from Afghanistan to Yemen and
Libya, that should have been stopped a long time ago, to tell the truth.
If tyranny had at least once received such a response to the war, it had be -- had reached, it would have ceased to exist and honest peace had been
guaranteed after it and the world would have changed for sure.
And then perhaps there would not be war in my country, against our people, against Ukrainian people, against our citizens. But the world watched and
did not want to see either the occupation of Crimea or the war against Georgia or taking the entire Transnistria from Moldova and how Russia was
preparing the basis for other conflicts and wars near their borders.
How to stop it?
Right away. The Russian military and those who gave them orders must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes in Ukraine. Anyone who has
given criminal orders and carried out them by killing our people will be brought before the tribunal, which should be similar to the Nuremberg
I would like to remind Russian diplomats that like for Ribbentrop (ph) has not escaped punishment for crimes in World War II. I would also like to
remind you that those (INAUDIBLE) also did not go unpunished. Nobody of them escaped punishment.
But the main thing is today -- is to -- it is time to transform this system, the United Nations.
So therefore, I propose to convene a global conference. And we can do it here in peaceful Kyiv, in order to determine how we are going to reform the
world security system, how we will rely -- how do we establish guarantee of recognition of borders and integrity of states and countries, how we will
assert the rule of international law.
It is now clear that the goals set in San Francisco in 1945, for the creation of a global security international organization, have not been
achieved. And it is impossible to achieve them without reforms.
Therefore, we must do everything in our power, to pass on to the next generation, an effective U.N., with the ability to respond preventively to
security challenges and, thus, guarantee peace; prevent aggression and force aggressors to peace; have the determination and ability to punish, if
the principles of peace are violated.
There can be no more exceptions or privileges. Everybody must be equal; all participants of international relation, regardless of economic strength,
geographical area and individual ambitions.
The power of peace must become dominant, the power of justice and the security power, as humanity has always dreamed of it. Ukrainians ready to
provide a platform for one of the main offices of the newly updated security system, as similar to the Geneva office that deals with human
rights, the Nairobi office that deals with environmental protection.
And in Kyiv we can have U-24 office that can specialize in preventive measures to maintain peace.
I would like to remind you of our peaceful mission in Afghanistan, when we, Ukrainians,, evacuated from that country over thousands -- more than 1,000
people from -- with -- at our own expense. It was a very difficult phase and Ukraine came to their help.
We took in people of different nationalities, ethnic groups, different faiths, Afghan citizens of European countries, U.S., Canada. We did not
look who needed help, was it one of our own or somebody else.
We helped all of them. We saved everyone. If every time there was a need, everyone in the world would be confident that help would come.
ZELENSKYY (through translator): The world would be definitely safer. Therefore Ukraine has been the moral right to propose a reform of the world
security system. We have proven that we helped others, not only happy time but in dark times, too.
And now we need decisions from the Security Council for peace in Ukraine. If you do not know how to make this decision, you can do two things:
either remove Russia as an aggressor and a source of war, so it cannot block decisions about its own aggression, its own war, and then do
everything that we can do to establish peace.
Or the other option is, please, show how we can reform or change, dissolve itself (ph) and work for peace.
Or if there is no alternative and no option, then the next option would be dissolve yourself altogether. And I know that you can admit that, if there
is nothing that you can do besides conversation, we need peace.
We -- Ukraine needs peace. Europe needs peace. And the world needs peace.
And finally, I would kindly ask you very much to watch this short video. Please give us one more minute of your time. The video that we want to
show, that one country can violate rights and that's the result of being unpunished.
If possible, please watch this video, because it is impossible to get everyone to come to our country and see it with your own eyes. Therefore, I
would ask you to watch this video. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not sure -- the video.
Is it just coming?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) uploaded to the technicians of the Security Council. So they have it in their possession.
WOODWARD: I -- we will sort that one out, technically. We don't have the video. So I propose that, while we sort that out, I thank His Excellency,
Mr. Zelenskyy, for his compelling and powerful remarks. We will come back to the video when we sort it out, the technical -- the technical issues
And may I say, speaking in my national capacity, may I express appreciation to the president for his leadership in wartime and for the extraordinary
fortitude and bravery of the Ukrainian people under this unprovoked and illegal invasion.
I resume my function as the President of the Security Council. And while we sort out the technical video, I propose to give the floor to those council
members, who wish to make statements.
And I now give the floor to the representative of the United States.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Thank you, Madam President.
Let me also start by thanking UAE and Ambassador Nusseibeh for her successful presidency during the month of March.
Madam President, as you begin your Security Council presidency, I want to thank the United Kingdom for your leadership and for organizing this vital
discussion on Ukraine today.
I also want to thank the Secretary-General for his remarks and the other briefers.
And I'd like to extend a warm welcome to President Zelenskyy. I was so moved by the address he made recently to our Congress and we are truly
honored by his presence here under the circumstances that he and Ukraine face today.