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Intervenção da Embaixadora da Ucrânia Inna Ohnivets na conferência internacional "Juntos na ONU - perspetivas para 2018-2019"
08 fevereiro 2018 11:49

A 8 de fevereiro de 2018, a Embaixadora da Ucrânia, Inna Ohnivets, participou na conferência internacional "Juntos na ONU - perspetivas para 2018-2019", organizada pela Embaixada da Polónia em Portugal e Universidade Católica  O texto da intervenção da Embaixadora da Ucrânia (em inglês)

Dear Director of the Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University, Professor João Carlos Espada,

Your Excellency, Ambassador of Poland Jacek Junosza Kisielewski,

Dear participants of the Conference,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, let me congratulate Ambassador Kisielewski and the Catholic University of Portugal on organizing this conference. I would also like to thank them for inviting me to share with the participants some of our experience of work at the UN Security Council in 2016-2017.

Just a few weeks ago, Ukraine completed its membership in the Council. As an elected member for the past two years, we had a unique opportunity to see up close and personal all its institutional strengths, shortcomings and underused potential.

Moreover, as a country under attack from its neighbour we also feel first-hand consequences of the Council’s embedded flaws. We clearly saw the Council’s limits to action, and we are realistic in what one can reasonably achieve there as a non-permanent member.

I can say that in many ways our membership could be seen as a worthwhile and timely “reality check” in terms of global policies and decision-making in the area of maintaining peace and security.

As it is known, Ukraine was elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for four times.

Our last election for the term of 2016–2017 became an acknowledgment of Ukraine’s role on the international arena as well as of its consistent and unbiased foreign policy, loyalty to the principles of democracy and rule of law, practical contribution to the peace and security building.

There have been many events and developments over the two years of Ukraine’s membership in the Security Council.

Ukraine actively participated in discussions of all more than fifty issues of global agenda, submitted its proposals to approximately 140 resolutions of the Security Council as well as to 50 statements of its President and to dozens of other documents.

I will highlight just five takeaways from our work in the Council.

First, Ukraine has proven beyond any doubt that it can play a responsible and constructive role in addressing challenges and threats to peace and security on the global scale.

Two years ago some were expressing concerns that Ukraine would use its seat on the Council only to push forward its own agenda and would turn the Council into a place for settling scores with Russia. We did raise our issue but only when there was a serious justification for it.

For example, thanks to our non-permanent membership, Ukraine managed to provide convincing support for two resolutions on human rights violations in Crimea in 2016 and 2017. It was the first time when the United Nations recognised Russia as an occupying power and Crimea as a temporarily occupied territory.

Moreover, we actively participated in consideration of each and every item on the Council agenda, from Columbia to Myanmar, from protection of civilians to the role of women.

Our chairmanship of the sanctions committees on Liberia, Central African Republic and the Sudan was highly productive and efficient, which is recognized by both Council members and countries concerned.

Second, Ukraine prepared and got adopted unanimously a first ever resolution of the Security Council on the protection of critical infrastructure, which was cosponsored by 41 states.

We are proud of this substantive contribution, considering the dependence of modern societies on critical infrastructure on one hand and this infrastructure vulnerability from a range of threats, including terrorist ones, on the other.

The importance of this subject is highlighted by the fact that after the adoption of the resolution a number of UN member states made concrete steps to implement it on the national level.

Third, during our Presidency, in February last year, we raised the issue of conflicts in Europe, the subject that was dormant in the Council since Balkan conflicts.

Maybe even, such a lack of attention to this area is partly responsible for the current situation on the European continent, where a certain permanent member of the Security Council attempts to establish its dominance.

We are convinced that an efficiency of the Security Council is based on the assumed and expected respect of the UN Charter and norms and principles of international law by all member states. I would like specifically underline the importance of the latter point.


To our deepest regret, the world is currently living in an era of the erosion of the rule of law, when arbitrary application and selective or arbitrary interpretation of norms and principles of international law, with respective obligations and commitments that derive from it, is becoming a routine occurrence, when might makes right.

The most obvious manifestation of it is the aggressive policy of the Russian Federation towards its neighbours.

In 2008 it occupied a part of Georgian territory. In 2014 it illegally occupied and attempted to annex Crimea and then expanded the armed conflict to the Donbas region of Ukraine. Has the Council been able to provide a fitting response? The answer is well known.

Russia’s actions undermined and continue to undermine the international rule based system and they constitute a direct threat to international peace and security, which is THE SUBJECT that the Council must be concerned about.

Ukraine is convinced that without a radical reform and a complete overhaul of the Security Council as it is right now, we can expect only more of the same – long discussions, sometimes even interesting ones, but with a limited impact where a real and concerted action is needed.

We hope that this subject will continue to be raised also after we leave the Council.

Fourth, in March last year, Ukraine organized an Arria formula meeting on the subject of hybrid wars as a threat to international peace and security.

It was a first ever discussion in the UN of the subject of hybrid wars. We are convinced that this subject deserves the attention of the Council no less than, for example, terrorism.

Manifestations of hybrid warfare may not be as clear cut and obvious as those of terrorism, but they are no less dangerous in the context of preserving international peace and security.

Finally, fifth, throughout our membership we strived to contribute to improving working methods of the Council. We did this by increasing transparency of the election process of the UN Secretary General.

Together with other elected members we introduced changes to the process of distribution of chairmanships of subsidiary bodies and carved out a more prominent role in this process for elected members themselves.

Thus, within two years, Ukraine has made a significant contribution to overcoming global and regional security challenges, to consolidate democracy, peace and stability in the world. And we think that it was the most important result of our membership in the Security Council.

As Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said, Ukraine has also gained enormous benefits from its membership. First of all, we have significantly strengthened our credibility within the UN system and proved our commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

I cannot but mention the words of the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley about Ukraine’s non-permanent membership: the Security Council became better because of Ukraine’s presence there for the last two years.

I think, it is the highest evaluation of our work.

So, congratulating Poland on starting its sixth non-permanent membership in the Security Council, I would like to wish successful activity within the framework of one of the most powerful and important body of the United Nations.

I thank you for your attention!


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