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Statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy UN Security Council – Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine, 24 February 2023


Mr. President,

On this day exactly one year ago, a permanent member of this Council unilaterally violated the basic principles and norms on which the peaceful coexistence among States and this very Organization are founded.

Far from bearing a greater sense of duty and responsibility as a permanent member, with its unacceptable behavior Russia has profoundly shaken and questioned the roots of the international order.

On this anniversary, Ukraine still stands and together with the wide majority of the international community, Italy stands alongside Ukraine in full solidarity with its people.

(Minister Tajani speaks French –interpreter:)

But when I listen to somebody who talks about Europe, which is a slave of the United States, I need to say that we are slaves of freedom, democracy, of international law, so we need to completely reject this idea of Europe being a slave. We are the homeland of freedom and democracy for anybody throughout the world. It is unacceptable what I hear here this morning in this chamber.

(Minister resumes in English)

Russia’s, illegal, unprovoked and unjustified act of aggression against Ukraine not only is a gross violation of the UN Charter and a threat to international security and stability, but is also causing global systematic disruption with multiple harmful consequences that majorly affects the most vulnerable countries in the Global South.

We need more diplomacy, and as the Secretary General said, the Black Sea Grain Initiative is a sign of hope to address global concerns on such harmful consequences and to display that ground for dialogue can and must be found.

Italy strongly calls, in the first place, for the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and for the swift establishment of a nuclear safe zone around Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

(Minister Tajani speaks Spanish –interpreter:)

We have also asked for a stronger United Nations, we are asking for a more democratic, representative, transparent UN because the UN can do more by involving more countries of the world. Because since the Second World war the world has changed a great deal and this is why we need to involve more countries in this reform.

(Minister resumes in English)

Mr President,

The daily attacks to Ukrainian people and to critical infrastructures, with devastating humanitarian costs, are completely unacceptable and must immediately stop.

We want to work for peace. We are not against the Russian citizens. We are in favor of democracy, freedom, we want to respect the international rules, this is our engagement, for this we are strongly involved in defense of Ukraine. What we want is peace, peace with justice. Justice, freedom, and independence for Ukraine.

Thank you.