By organizing this debate Russia is trying to portray itself as a defender of the UN Charter and multilateralism. Nothing can be further from the truth. It is cynical. We all know that while Russia is destroying, we are building. While they violate, we protect. The UN Charter, the UN General Assembly, the ICJ, the ICC – everywhere you look Russia is in contempt.
On 23 February, the UN General Assembly reiterated its demand that Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. If Russia cares about effective multilateralism, that is the first way to prove it.
The international community must remain firmly committed to ensure accountability for the crimes committed in and against Ukraine.
The Ukrainian people have paid the heaviest price, but the damaging impacts of Russia’s aggression are felt across the world. In close dialogue with our partners, the EU has stepped up to address the global consequences of Russia’s war. I want to stress that every effort in support of Ukraine has come in addition to, and not instead of, our global commitments.
Upholding the rules-based order, a term Russia deliberately misinterprets, means respecting international law and the UN Charter, and ensuring that these rules apply to everyone. In one phrase, that might does not make right. And it means engaging in multilateral diplomacy to work out new rules as necessary.
Like many other members of this Organization, the EU and its Member States are doing their part. For almost 80 years we have supported the United Nations and its three interlinked pillars: peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development. We do this both politically and financially, as the largest collective contributor to the UN budget. As Russia’s war fuels food insecurity and poverty around the world, the EU Global Gateway is mobilizing 300 billion EUR of investments for sustainable and high-quality projects in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. As Russia attacks human rights and dignity, the EU will continue to vigorously promote and defend the universality and indivisibility of human rights around the world.
The EU is proud to work with its partners around the world in leading the multilateral response to global challenges. We pay tribute to the courage and professionalism of UN staff around the world, dedicated to defending the UN Charter and protecting those most in need. And we will be relentless in our commitment to upholding international law and to working as a force for inclusive peace, sustainable development and the promotion and protection of human rights.