On February 21, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin chaired the United Nations Security Council open debate on conflicts in Europe.
"As events over the past decade have demonstrated, ignoring conflicts in Europe and failing to learn from them is no longer an option. We need to put security in Europe back into the focus of the Security Council", Mr. Klimkin said at the session.
The Foreign Minister emphasized that those conflicts in Europe that remain unresolved have one common feature - active involvement of Russia, which uses them in its own geopolitical interests. If this aggression goes unchecked, he said, every protracted conflict will become active hot one, while the aggressor will continue to create new threats and challenges in stable places.
In his statement, Minister Klimkin also focused on the issue of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. He stressed that Russia violated the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and started hybrid warfare against Ukraine three years ago. Thus, the European security system, which was considered as one of the most stable, is now in doubt.
While examining potential areas of action of the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, to address the situation in Europe, Mr. Klimkin noted the importance of reforming the Security Council in order to remove veto power abuses. “It is unacceptable that paragraph 3 of Article 27 of the Charter, namely that ‘a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting’, continues to be blatantly ignored», Minister Klimkin underscored.
He also called upon the UN to take a more proactive approach in conflict management and resolution, including through making greater use of the options laid out in Chapter VI of the UN Charter, employing UN Secretary-General’s good offices as well as strengthening cooperation between the UN and regional organizations. In this context, the Minister urged the UN Secretary-General to elaborate options for “political and security presence of the UN in Ukraine and ways of cooperation with the OSCE to ensure full implementation of Security Council resolution 2202 (2015)."
The key speakers at the debate included UN Secretary-General António Guterres, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid. Up to 50 delegations of UN member states and the Secretary General of GUAM participated in the debate.