Madame President, Excellencies,
The war in Ukraine is one of the greatest challenges ever to the
international order and the global peace architecture, founded on
the United Nations Charter.
Because of its nature, intensity, and consequences.
We are dealing with the full-fledged invasion, on several
fronts, of one Member State of the United Nations, Ukraine, by
another, the Russian Federation – a Permanent Member of the
Security Council – in violation of the United Nations Charter, and
with several aims, including redrawing the
internationally-recognized borders between the two countries.
The war has led to senseless loss of life, massive devastation
in urban centres, and the destruction of civilian
I will never forget the horrifying images of civilians killed in
I immediately called for an independent investigation to
guarantee effective accountability.
I am also deeply shocked by the personal testimony of rapes and
sexual violence that are now emerging.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights has spoken of possible
war crimes, grave breaches of international humanitarian law and
serious violations of international human rights law.
The war has displaced more than ten million people in just one
month – the fastest forced population movement since the Second
Far beyond Ukraine’s borders, the war has led to massive
increases in the prices of food, energy and fertilizers, because
Russiaand Ukraine are lynchpins of these markets.
It has disrupted supply chains, and increased the cost of
transportation, putting evenmore pressure on the developing
Many developing countries were already on the verge of debt
collapse, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and a lack of
adequate liquidity and debt relief, stemming ultimately from the
unfair nature of our global economic and financial system.
For all these reasons, it is more urgent by the day to silence
That is why I asked the Emergency Relief Coordinator,Martin
Griffiths, to travel to Russia and Ukraine to press for an urgent
Under-Secretary-General Griffiths will update you on the
humanitarian situation and the results of his contacts so far.
Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo will also brief you on the
But as Secretary-General of the United Nations, it is my duty to
call the attention of the Council to the serious damage being done
to the global economy, and particularly to vulnerable people and
Our analysis indicates that 74 developing countries, with a
total population of 1.2 billion people, are particularly vulnerable
to spiking food, energy and fertilizer costs.
Debt obligations take up some 16 percent of developing
countries’ export earnings. In small island developing states, the
figure is 34 percent and rising, because of increased interest
rates and the need to pay for expensive imports.
In the past month alone, wheat prices have increased by 22
percent, maize by 21 percent and barley by 31 percent.
Brent oil prices on 1 April were more than 60 percent higher
than at the same time last year.A series of events have led to that
not only the present situation.
Natural gas and fertilizer prices more than doubled over the
We are already seeing some countries move from vulnerability
into crisis, and signs of serious social unrest.
The flames of conflict are fueled by inequality, deprivation and
With all the warning signals flashing red, we have a duty to
The Global Crisis Response Group on food, energy and finance
that I set up last month has formulated some initial
recommendations for the consideration of Member States,
International Financial Institutions and others.
On food, we are urging all countries to keep markets open,
resist unjustified and unnecessary export restrictions, and make
reserves available to countries at risk of hunger and famine. This
is not the time for protectionism.
Humanitarian appeals must be fully funded.
People caught up in crisis around the world cannot pay the price
for this war.
On energy: the use of strategic stockpiles and additional
reserves could help to ease this energy crisis in the short
But the only medium- and long-term solution is to accelerate the
deployment of renewable energy, which is not impacted by market
This will allow the progressive phase-out of coal and all other
Renewables are already cheaper in most cases.
And on finance: international financial institutions must go
into emergency mode.
We need urgent action by the G20 and international financial
institutions to increase liquidity and fiscal space so that
governments can provide safety nets for the poorest and most
The reform I have been calling for of the global financial
system is long overdue.
All these actions are closely linked with the prevention agenda,
and with building and sustaining peace.
The war in Ukraine must stop — now.
We need serious negotiations for peace, based on the principles
of the United Nations Charter.
This Council is charged with maintaining peace — and doing so in
I deeply regret the divisions that have prevented the Security
Council from acting not only on Ukraine, but on other threats to
peace and security around the world.
I urge the Council to do everything in its power to end the war
and to mitigate its impact, both on the suffering people of
Ukraine, and on vulnerable people and developing countries around