Expressing his “deep gratitude” for the country’s “unwavering commitment to multilateralism”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that support and commitment are “more critical today than ever”.
“In our time – a time of conflict, climate crisis and Covid-19 – there is simply no sustainable alternative to dialogue, international cooperation and global solutions,” he said. said.
Amid a proliferation of conflicts, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Mr. Guterres called a violation of his territorial integrity and the Charter of the United Nations, he expressed particular concern about the strikes against urban centers like Odessa.
“The war must end for the good of the peoples of Ukraine, Russia and the whole world,” he stressed.
The UN chief called for a world that respects international law, protects civilians with a peaceful future on a healthy planet, advances human rights and where leaders live up to the values they promised to defend.
Humanitarian aid to Ukrainians
The UN remains intensely focused on expanding aid to Ukrainians, saving lives, reducing suffering and helping them find a path to peace, according to the UN chief.
“We will continue to push for a full-scale ceasefire, effective humanitarian corridors and safe passage for civilians and vital supplies, building on what, together with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the parties we were able to do in Mariupol,” he said.
The UN is also mobilizing to prevent the impacts of the war beyond Ukraine’s borders, in particular by containing the specter of a regional escalation.
The Secretary-General has just visited Moldova, which, despite its incredible support for Ukrainian refugees, is facing the interrelated crises of Covid-19, security and high inflation caused by soaring food prices and energy and the blocking of trade routes.
“I call on the international community, and I take advantage of my presence here, and in particular the European Union, to provide massive support, including budgetary support, in order to help preserve the stability of Moldova and continue its ambitious reform agenda,” he said. “We must also work together to protect refugees from human trafficking, gender-based violence and other forms of abuse.”
Before Moldova, the UN chief visited Senegal, Niger and Nigeria, which, like developing countries around the world, are reeling from the cascading challenges of the climate emergency, an uneven post-Covid recovery and a triple food, energy and financial crisis, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
He expressed deep concern over “the widespread hunger in different parts of the world due to the dire food security situation we are facing due to the war in Ukraine.”
Stressing the importance of the return to the food markets of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, the senior UN official promised to “do everything I can to facilitate the dialogue which can lead to results in this regard.
Hailing Austria as a steadfast ally in the search for multilateral solutions, he called the country “a builder of bridges between East and West and a generous host of many United Nations organizations”.
“I always hear from colleagues working in Vienna that the conditions created by the Austrian authorities are so favorable that many decide to retire and continue living here,” he said.
Mr. Guterres concluded by saying that he looked forward to deepening this “strong partnership”.