UN Association of New Zealand condemns Russian acts of aggression and calls for restoration of peace and international law
27 February 2022
28 February 2022
For immediate release
Attributable to UNA NZ
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The United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNANZ) condemns the Russian military action against Ukraine as an act of aggression that is clearly in violation of international law. We call on the New Zealand government to use its membership in the United Nations to help end the military action, restore peace and prevent further humanitarian suffering caused by the Russian action.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has clearly stated that “The use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold. This applies to the present military offensive. It is wrong. It is against the Charter. It is unacceptable. But it is not irreversible.”
Regardless of any historical grievances and unresolved conflicts that Russia may have with Ukraine and the United States/NATO, the threat or use of force to resolve such conflicts is prohibited under Article 2 of the UN Charter.
President Putin’s acts have catapulted Russia and Ukraine into an armed conflict that, if not stopped, will lead to catastrophic suffering of both combatants and civilians in Ukraine, placing Russia at risk of a counter-attack which will cause suffering to Russian people many of whom oppose President Putin’s illegal actions, and could escalate to a broader regional war threatening peace and security in the world and elevating the risk of nuclear war.
UNANZ recognises that better use could have been made of diplomacy, mediation and common security mechanisms earlier in the conflict to address and resolve historical grievances. We call now on the United Nations and the international community to use all non-military means possible, particularly those outlined in Articles 33 – 41 of the UN Charter, to contain and reverse the invasion of Ukraine, and to hold President Putin criminally responsible for the act of aggression (Crime Against Peace), along with other Russian officials who are complicit.
The UN Security Council is unlikely to take meaningful action due to the veto power of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council (P5) which includes Russia. Indeed, this veto power has also prevented meaningful action from being taken on a number of other occasions when P5 members have breached the Charter with acts of aggression. Ultimately that veto power should be amended or revoked. In the meantime, in cases of such non-action by the Security Council, the UN General Assembly can take action normally under the Security Council’s mandate to address the conflict and respond to aggression as it has done so on occasions in the past, including under the Uniting for Peace resolution (377A, 3 November 1950).
UNANZ joins the UN Secretary-General and the people of Ukraine, Russia, Europe and the world who do not want war, and who are appealing to the Russian government to end the military conflict, return the troops to Russia, and address their historical grievances through diplomacy and international law. It’s not too late to save this generation from the scourge of war. We need peace.