Address by the President at the UN Security Council Debate
President: Russia’s continuing neo-colonial aggression against Ukraine is not a bilateral or a regional issue. It concerns us all. If we don’t act in solidarity today to defend the fundamental values of international law, tomorrow may be too late!
Looking from the perspective of my region, February 24th, 2022 is a date when the world as we knew it changed permanently. Russia’s full–scale invasion of Ukraine was a defining moment in geopolitics, transforming Europe's security landscape and tearing down the core pillar of our international system.
This strategic change is not temporary. We are living in a new era of uncertainty.
The multilateral system established nearly 80 years ago, with its principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, asserted the superiority of the rule of law over force in international relations. It gave nations a place to turn to when faced with regional or global challenges – often as a last resort. The Charter embodies a code of international ethics by which every state should abide.
When Russia replaced the Soviet Union as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, it took upon itself even greater responsibility than other nations to preserve international peace and security.
Yet, its leadership made a deliberate decision to violate our basic principles, the key norms of international law. And it continues to do so, repeatedly! From air attacks on critical infrastructure to eliciting global food crisis. From causing the ecological catastrophe in Nova Kakhovka to bombing cultural heritage sites in Ukrainian cities.
Those hideous actions, together with continuous negation of the international order, including the UN Charter, prove that an imperialistic Russia is discrediting itself as a member of international community.
Russia is abusing its veto power to prevent the Council from addressing the flagrant violation of international law the same Russia has committed. In this situation, the nations of the world cannot remain passive.
The prohibition of aggression as well as the elimination of genocide and crimes against humanity are ius cogens norms, accepted and recognized by the international community. These are the norms from which no deviation is permitted.
This means Russia’s continuing neo–colonial aggression against Ukraine is not a bilateral or a regional issue. It concerns us all. If we don’t act in solidarity today to defend the fundamental values of international law, tomorrow may be too late!
This is why Poland has been making efforts to hold Russia and individual Russian citizens accountable for their flagrant violations of international law and the UN Charter. We support the work of the existing jurisdictions, such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Because the Russian aggression as such cannot be the subject of assessment by the International Criminal Court, we support the creation of a special international tribunal ad hoc. Moreover, Poland is striving to create an international mechanism to repair the damage and compensate for the losses caused by Russia.
The perpetrators of international crimes must not go unpunished. They should be tried before competent courts. This should be our imperative to ensure a lasting peace in the future.
The war in Ukraine has permanently changed the global security architecture. Regardless of its final result, we will have to face a new political, military and economic reality which will last until a new security system is formed. A system with no place for aggression, imperialism and neo–colonialism.