Speech by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the United Nations Security Council Briefing “Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine”
Bucha, Mariupol, Izyum.
When we talk about the horrors of the unfolding war in Ukraine, we are not talking about abstract reports. We are talking about children. We are talking about mothers. About brothers, about fathers, about grandparents, women and men whose pain is raw.
Therefore, I urge Russia:
This is a war you will not win. So end the war.
Stop the suffering in Ukraine. Stop sending more of your own citizens to their death. Stop your sham referendums, which are as unlawful as the war they are supposed to legitimise.
Stop the grain war that is driving hunger across the globe, especially in the South. And stop paralysing this very body – the United Nations Security Council. For many of you here and in the General Assembly, on February 24th, this war might have seemed like a regional war, far away.
Because, in many parts of the world, there is too much suffering already, driven by conflict, driven by climate catastrophe, driven by the pandemic and by hunger. We did hear this. We in Germany, we could feel you.
But I think we all feel together now here in the Security Council, but also in the General Assembly, that for the last 200 days, what has been happening can leave nobody around the globe untouched.
Now, after 200 days of Russia's brutal war in Ukraine, President Putin's most recent announcements make it clear beyond any doubt: Russia is not conducting a so-called special Operation.
Russia is leading a full-fledged war of aggression with war crimes, with torture, with rape, even of children.
Russia's war that has lasted 200 days so far is also increasing hunger, poverty and insecurity in the world – all around the globe.
I think it sends a clear signal that the Russian Foreign Minister only came in here for his own speech and then spoke for quite some time, but didn't even mention the hunger, the poverty, the results of this war all around the world.
And today, in the streets of Moscow, there are no queues of volunteers wanting to join the war in Ukraine. What we see instead are courageous men, women and even children taking to the streets because they do not want to be part of this war against Ukraine, and they don’t want to be part of the hunger war in the world.
These men and women feel what we all feel, regardless of where we hail from – north, south, east or west: namely, that all this war brings is pain, death and destruction.
Today, here in this chamber, we have to therefore ask ourselves:
If we let a permanent member of this Council launch such a war of aggression against its neighbour, what would this mean for the United Nations, for an institution whose charter states that “all Members shall refrain from the threat of use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”.
If the Charter means anything to us, we must not stand idly by, but rather live up to the spirit of our Charter – not in spite of but very much because of one member’s misuse of their special veto rights in the Security Council.
Live up to the spirit of our, of this, Charter of the United Nations, as has been done by the UN and our Turkish partners who brokered the grain deal. As it has been done by the World Food Programme, which is also supported by Germany, and which is shipping grain to Yemen and to the Horn of Africa.
Live up to the spirit of the United Nations, - as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court are doing by collecting evidence to ensure that the perpetrators in this war are held accountable.
Live up to the spirit of the United Nations - as the IAEA, which is working to prevent a catastrophe at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, and whose efforts we are supporting in talks with all sides.
Live up to the spirit of the United Nations in contrast to the Russian president.
Because we are the United Nations, from north to south, from east to west, no matter how small. No matter how big.