The United Nations Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a declaration backing UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ efforts to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, marking its first declaration on the issue since hostilities began on February 24.
According to AFP, which obtained a copy of the declaration, UNSC members expressed “strong support” for Guterres’ efforts to find a “peaceful solution” to the “dispute” between Russia and Ukraine, but stopped short of mediating discussions for peace.
“The Security Council expresses deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine,” read the declaration, adding that the 15 members of the UNSC had “undertaken, under the Charter of the United Nations, the obligation to settle their international disputes by peaceful means.”
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The UNSC urged Guterres to submit a report to the council on how he intends to find a solution to the conflict.
The declaration, notably, marked the first unified stance taken by the UNSC on the conflict in Ukraine: an earlier resolution looking to condemn Russia’s invasion was vetoed by Moscow.
The UNSC’s declaration comes a week after Guterres travelled to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, wherein he urged the 69-year-old to allow for the evacuation of civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol.
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Subsequently, Guterres travelled to war-torn Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and visit sites of alleged mass massacres by Russia, such as Bucha and Borodyanka.
During his Ukraine visit, the 73-year-old had condemned the killing of civilians, saying, “This horrific scenario demonstrates something that is unfortunately always true — that civilians always pay the highest price. Innocent civilians were living in these buildings. They were paying the highest price for a war for which they not contributed at all.”
Guterres had also appealed to Moscow to cooperate with investigations into alleged war crimes, saying, “I appeal to the Russian Federation to accept, to cooperate with the ICC.”