NEW YORK, Feb 24 (KUNA) -- United Nations General Assembly President Dennis Francis urged countries to stand with the people of Ukraine in their quest for justice and peace, as Russian military operation in Ukraine entering its third year.
"As we reflect on the two years of anguish and hardship, let us emerge from this place with a resounding message of solidarity and unwavering support to the resilient people of Ukraine," he said, speaking on General Assembly meeting Friday.
Addressing representatives of the UN Member States, Francis stated that they "can neither be blind to the ongoing destruction and devastation, nor ignore the plight of the people of Ukraine." Francis said the impact of this "needless war" extends far beyond the borders of Ukraine, as the environment is also "the silent victim of the conflict", while the real risk of a nuclear accident persists.
"And, ultimately, the war has affected every Member State gathered in this hall, whether in the form of the soaring food prices or in the context of energy insecurity," he added.
He noted that while the 15-member UN Security Council has been paralyzed by division over the conflict, the General Assembly has condemned Russia's aggression and demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of its forces from Ukrainian territory.
The Assembly President called for redoubling efforts "to end wars and usher in a future of hope, promise and prosperity for the people in Ukraine and Russia, alike and indeed elsewhere, without exception." Moreover, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "It is high time for peace, a just peace, based on the UN Charter, international law and General Assembly resolutions." Adding, people of Ukraine are suffering terribly from the war, which has led to the killing of more than 10,000 civilians, among other widespread and alarming atrocities.
He also voiced deep concern over the danger of the conflict escalating and expanding is very real.
Around the world, the war is deepening geopolitical divides. Fanning regional instability. Shrinking the space available to address other urgent global issues, he said.
Guterres said that since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, "we have had two years of fighting, two years of suffering, two years of stoking global tensions and straining global relations." Scorning the Charter has been the problem, and honouring it is the solution, he added.
"That means honouring the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders. It is time to recommit to the Charter and renew respect for international law," he said.