On 24 April the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, UN Security Council President for April, chaired a debate on effective multilateralism.
Speaking in his national capacity, Sergey Lavrov said that the United Nations-centred global system is now “enduring a profound crisis”. The root cause of this is certain Member States’ desire to replace international law and the Charter of the United Nations with a “rules-based order”. Such rules were crafted and applied to counter the natural process of establishing new, independent development centres. The West continues its attempts to deter such formation with illegitimate unilateral measures. He underscored that the Ukrainian issue cannot be considered separately from the geopolitical context. He called on those present to respect the principles of the Charter, facilitate genuine multilateralism on the international stage and reform the Council to enhance representation of Asian, African and Latin American countries.
Underscoring that “nobody allowed the Western minority to speak on behalf of all of humankind”, Lavrov provided an overview of the “criminal misadventures” of the United States over past decades. He then urged those present to abandon double standards, calling on the same to honour the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States. Democracy emanates from the Charter of the United Nations, the first words of which reflect the fundamental source of legitimate power — the consent of the governed. Stating that the Kyiv “regime” does not meet this test, he nevertheless stressed that “this is not about Ukraine”; rather, it is about whether international relations will be shaped by consensus that balances interests or by “the aggressive, volatile advancement of Washington’s hegemony”. On this point, he underscored that the Ukrainian issue cannot be considered separately from the geopolitical context. The Russian Federation has announced the goals it is pursuing through its “special military operation” — to eradicate threats to domestic security created for years by representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) along Moscow’s borders and to protect the people from the actions of the Kyiv regime. He added a call for those present to respect the principles of the Charter, facilitate genuine multilateralism on the international stage and expedite reform of the Security Council to enhance representation of Asian, African and Latin American countries.
Hear his full speech in the first video below.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States representative, said today’s meeting is on a serious topic, even if it was convened by a Council member whose actions show a blatant disregard for the Charter. The world needs an effective United Nations and international multilateral system. The Russian Federation’s invasion of its neighbour runs counter to the Organization’s most fundamental principles and it is trying to redraw international borders by force in violation of the Charter. This should concern everyone as “today is the Ukraine, tomorrow it could be another country.” She agreed that the Council must better reflect today’s global realities and find viable paths for the twenty-first century. “We must rally behind the UN Charter,” she said. Hear her full speech in the second video below.
The representative of Ecuador said that none of the pretexts invoked by Moscow to justify its attack on Ukraine in violation of the Charter have merit — “not one of them”. He wondered if any of the Russian Federation’s many cultural envoys would agree with the death and pain caused by this “absurd” war.
Sergey Lavrov’s speech.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s speech