President of Ukraine

It is now and in Ukraine that the future of the UN is being decided - Volodymyr Zelenskyy following the meeting with António Guterres in Kyiv

8 March 2023 - 17:16

It is now and in Ukraine that the future of the UN is being decided - Volodymyr Zelenskyy following the meeting with António Guterres in Kyiv

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who visited Ukraine for the third time since the beginning of full-scale Russian aggression.

Welcoming António Guterres, the Head of State emphasized that Ukraine was now at the forefront of a real war for the principles underlying international law.

“Right now, it is Ukraine that is defending the goals and principles of the UN Charter. Hence, it is now and in Ukraine that the future of the UN and the global role of the United Nations are being decided,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized speaking to the media after talks with the UN Secretary-General in Kyiv.

The President personally thanked António Guterres, his team and everyone at the United Nations who understands the need to protect universal values and international order. Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted the recent approval by the overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly of the resolution "Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine" proposed by Ukraine and partner countries.

"I am grateful to António Guterres for his clear condemnation of Russian aggression as a gross violation of the UN Charter. Today, I expressed hope that the personal leadership of Mr. Secretary-General will help to implement our resolution - such a mandate from the UN General Assembly is actually already in place," the President noted.

During the talks in Kyiv, the parties focused primarily on security issues - ways to restore Ukrainian, European, and global security, as well as the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula.

"We discussed our peace initiatives, in particular the Peace Formula. I outlined our position and further steps towards its implementation, particularly the holding of the Global Peace Formula Summit," the Head of State said.

We also discussed the issue of returning hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens deported to Russia.

"We must bring all our citizens home, our soldiers who are held in Russian captivity. All of them must be released," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.

"We talked about the large-scale abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia and ways to save them from this genocide, to return them to Ukraine, home, to their families. I am thankful to Mr. Secretary-General for supporting our position on these particularly sensitive issues," the President added.

The Head of State also expressed gratitude to António Guterres for the unwavering support of Ukraine's efforts to ensure the stability of food markets and exports.

"We have agreed today that the continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative after March 18 is critically important for the whole world," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

The President also emphasized the importance of continuing to support the Ukrainian humanitarian initiative Grain from Ukraine, which has raised almost USD 200 million and sent over 140 thousand tons of Ukrainian grain to countries suffering from hunger.

"I am confident that together with the UN, we can significantly strengthen this initiative, just like the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This will provide even more guarantees of global food security," the Head of State emphasized.

In addition, the interlocutors discussed ways to stop Russian nuclear blackmail and restore the safety of all Ukrainian NPPs, including Zaporizhzhia NPP, which was violated by Russia.

"ZNPP should return under full Ukrainian control - it is a matter of global, not only Ukrainian security," the President emphasized.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also informed the UN Secretary-General about initiatives to restore justice for Ukraine and all citizens affected by Russian aggression and atrocities of the occupiers.

"In particular, regarding our work to establish a special tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the draft UN resolution that can support our efforts for the sake of the fundamental principles of international law. The power of law is ensured by justice and the inevitability of consequences for those who violate this law," the Head of State said.

For his part, António Guterres emphasized that Russia's invasion violates international law, and Ukraine's territorial integrity must be restored within its internationally recognized borders.

He noted that the UN continues to provide humanitarian assistance to millions of Ukrainians and is working to minimize the global impact of the military conflict, which has caused enormous suffering to the Ukrainian people and is affecting the entire world.

"I want to express my deep solidarity with all the victims of the war, with those who have lost loved ones, with those who have been forced to flee for survival," the UN Secretary-General said.

According to António Guterres, the implementation of the Grain Initiative has improved food support for a number of developing countries. He emphasized the importance of continuing the Grain Initiative and efficient use of the Black Sea export infrastructure in accordance with its purpose.

António Guterres emphasized the particular importance of Zaporizhzhia NPP safety. According to him, the United Nations is ready to offer mediation to achieve full demilitarization of the ZNPP territory, ensuring the resumption of normal operation of the power plant.

He also noted that the UN would continue to work on resolving humanitarian issues, including the exchange of prisoners of war.

"The recent shocking images of a Ukrainian soldier apparently being summarily killed is yet another tragic reminder that the laws of war must be strictly respected," said António Guterres.