Statement By H.E. Ambassador Jakub Kulhánek, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations – Eleventh Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly

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Publisher’s note:

Ukraine: Not since the founding of the United Nations in 1945 has there been such a moment as today – when 193 member states will, or ought, re-energize Hope while under threat of nuclear annihilation.

28 February 2022

Mr President,

 The Czech Republic aligns itself with the EU statement and wishes to add the following in its national capacity:

 

  • Let me start with the core message – we urge Russia to stop immediately its military actions and to unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine.
  • We are meeting here today at a critical moment not just for Ukraine or Europe but for the United Nations as a whole.
  • A permanent member of the UN Security Council has started a war of aggression against a fellow UN Member State.
  • It is a blatant violation of international law.
  • It is a blatant violation of the UN Charter and its principles, which we all should uphold and abide by. The seminal document was written with the express purpose of averting the scourge of war.
  • But Russian President Putin has chosen to reject multiple offers for diplomatic negotiations and has decided to launch a savage conquest inflicting untold pain and suffering on the people of Ukraine.
  • There are horrific reports coming from Ukraine. Civilians, including children, being killed in their hometowns, families separated, thousands of people forced to flee for their lives.
  • Let me make it crystal clear – Russia and its people are under no threat from Ukraine or NATO.
  • We condemn in the strongest terms Mr Putin’s threat of using nuclear weapons. It is a very dangerous rhetoric and adds to the gravity of the overall security situation.

 

 

Mr President,

 

  • Russia must be held accountable for its aggressive acts.
  • Ukraine has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court related to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. We will be looking for the ICC to prioritize investigations on crimes committed in Ukraine.
  • We strongly support Ukraine’s filing of a case against Russia at the International Court of Justice requesting the ICJ to order Russia to cease its unlawful attack on Ukraine and to stop Russia’s false claims that acts of genocide has occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine.
  • We express our unwavering support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including the illegally annexed Crimea. That is why the Czech Republic throws its full support behind the draft UN General Assembly resolution.
  • The people of the Czech Republic stand firmly with Ukraine. Suffering of innocent civilians in Ukraine has raised a huge wave of solidarity among people. Humanitarian aid is pouring across the border and to border regions where Ukrainians are crossing in a desperate search for a safe shelter. The Czech Government, communities and individuals have offered and provided protection to people who have fled from the suffering caused by the Russian aggression and will continue to do so.

 

Mr. President,

  • We deeply regret the use of a veto by the Russian representative last Friday to block the UN Security Council resolution. This prevented the UN Security Council from fulfilling its fundamental role to maintain international peace and security. It is yet another proof of Russia’s blatant disrespect of this organization.
  • The very high number of co-sponsors of the draft has clearly shown the prevailing opinion of the international community.

 

 

 

  • But Russia cannot veto the gloomy reality on the ground. Let me echo the words by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaking after last Friday’s vote in the Security Council, “The United Nations was born out of war to end war. Today, that objective was not achieved. We must never give up. We must give peace another chance”.
  • We, the representatives of 193 nations gathered here at this emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, have a solemn duty to uphold the purpose and basic principles of the UN Charter and international law as we are about to take a vote on the draft resolution which has been presented to us. To vote on the most crucial matter of war and peace.
  • Excellencies, I am making a plea to each and every one of you representing here all UN Member States: please, vote for this resolution. Vote with your conscience, vote for the end of bloodshed and human suffering, vote for peace, vote for the UN Charter and international law, vote for all the good our United Nations was founded to represent. And let us not forget – the whole world is watching.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

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