(United Nations) All eyes were on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday where his American counterpart Joe Biden called on all countries to “stand against Russian aggression”.
What there is to know
- Volodymyr Zelensky will head to Canada after addressing the United Nations General Assembly;
- Three civilians were killed Tuesday in a Russian bombing in the city of Kupiansk;
- Ukraine said its air defense had downed 27 Shahed-type drones launched overnight during a Russian air attack;
- Russia launched a drone attack early Tuesday on Lviv, destroying three warehouses and leaving at least one dead and one injured;
- The Ukrainian counter-offensive is “progressing steadily” and will soon be supported by the arrival on the ground of Abrams heavy tanks;
- Kyiv asked the International Court of Justice on Tuesday to force Moscow to pay it “reparations”;
- A ship carrying wheat has left a Ukrainian port on the Black Sea, despite repeated threats from Moscow to target the boats.
“Russia believes that the world will tire and let it brutalize Ukraine without consequences,” said Joe Biden.
“If we allow Ukraine to be dismembered, is the independence of nations still guaranteed? The answer is no,” he insisted, to the applause of the Ukrainian president and the audience.
A year ago, Volodymyr Zelensky was exceptionally authorized to speak via video message.
This time, he is there in person, for this annual high mass where he will speak in the middle of the day on Tuesday, before participating in a special meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday and leaving for Washington where he will be received at the House -White Thursday.
“For us, it is very important that our words, all our messages, are heard by our partners,” he declared Monday while meeting Ukrainian soldiers injured at the front in a New York hospital.
“Ukraine will present a concrete proposal to UN member states on how to strengthen the principle of territorial integrity and improve the UN’s ability to thwart and stop aggression,” he said. on X (formerly Twitter).
Since the Russian invasion, an overwhelming majority of countries have adopted several resolutions at the UN General Assembly supporting Ukraine and its territorial integrity or calling for Russian withdrawal.
But after a year and a half of war and cascading impacts on the world, particularly on food security, certain countries of the South are pleading for a diplomatic solution.
“I am aware that for some leaders, it is important to find a peaceful solution,” noted the President of the European Council Charles Michel. But “for this peace to be lasting, it must respect the principles” of the UN, he tempered.
In this context, the intervention from the podium of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was expected.
“The war in Ukraine exposes our collective inability to enforce the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter,” he said. But “no solution will be lasting if it is not based on dialogue,” added the Brazilian leader who is due to meet Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday.
Unlike several Western powers, Brazil has never imposed financial sanctions on Russia nor agreed to supply weapons to Kyiv and the country is trying to position itself, like China, as a mediator.
Moscow, for its part, displayed its confidence in Beijing’s support, emphasizing the “similar” positions of the two capitals vis-à-vis the United States and the Ukrainian conflict, following an exchange between the head of diplomacy Russian Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
In his opening speech, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres painted a very gloomy picture of a “world turned upside down”, where geopolitical tensions “are worsening” and global warming “most directly undermines our future “.
Symbol of this “compilation” of crises, the floods of Derna in Libya, “sad snapshot of the state of our world, swept away by the torrent of inequalities and injustices, and paralyzed in the face of the challenges to be taken up,” he said. he lamented.
The thousands of people who lost their lives “were victims of several scourges. Victims of years of conflict. Victims of climate chaos. Victims of leaders, who, there and elsewhere, have not been able to find the path to peace.”
As a prelude to the General Assembly on Monday, developing countries reminded the rest of the world of its promises to improve the lot of humanity by 2030, insisting in particular on a reform of the international financial architecture.
A request made repeatedly by Antonio Guterres, who sees it as a reason for the fragmentation of the world.
“Today we see new fissures opening in the world. Imperialism shows its disgusting face,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz commented on Monday.
Apart from the United States, no other permanent member of the Security Council (France, United Kingdom, China, Russia) will be represented at the highest level during this annual high mass.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi will be at the podium on Tuesday, while his country and the United States have just carried out a rare exchange of prisoners, under an agreement including the transfer to Tehran of 6 billion dollars of frozen funds.