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Defending Fundamental Principles in War in Ukraine

(FILE) People attend a commemorative rally for people killed by Russian air strike in Kyiv, Ukraine.

"If we abandon Ukraine, we abandon the UN Charter itself, and the principles and rules that make all countries safer and more secure,” said State Secretary Antony Blinken.

Defending Fundamental Principle in War in Ukraine
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“Nations around the world continue to stand with Ukraine,” declared Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a speech to the United Nations Security Council. “Because we all recognize that if we abandon Ukraine, we abandon the UN Charter itself, and the principles and rules that make all countries safer and more secure.”

“If we do not defend these basic principles,” said Secretary Blinken, “we invite a world in which might makes right, the strong dominate the weak.”

There are three ways in which to defend these principles, said Secretary Blinken. “First, we must push for a just and durable peace:”

“For peace to be just, it must uphold the principles at the heart of the UN Charter: sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence. For peace to be durable, it must ensure that Russia can’t simply rest, rearm, and relaunch the war in a few months or a few years. Any peace that legitimizes Russia’s seizure of land by force will weaken the charter and send a message to would-be aggressors everywhere that they can invade countries and get away with it.”

Some countries have expressed concerns that standing with Ukraine and holding Russia accountable are diverting focus and resources from others in need. “To those countries, I would say, simply, look at our actions,” said Secretary Blinken:

“In addition to the $13.5 billion in food aid that the United States contributed to fight hunger over the last year, we also fund more than 40 percent of the World Food Program’s budget. Russia contributes less than 1 percent of that budget. That’s not an outlier. Based on the latest UN figures, the United States donates over nine times as much as Russia to UN peacekeeping.”

Finally, “we must reaffirm our commitment to upholding what the UN Charter calls ‘the dignity and worth of the human person,’” said Secretary Blinken:

“We must continue to document Russia’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, and share this evidence with investigators and prosecutors, so that one day, the perpetrators can be held accountable.”

There are so many people in Ukraine who want a world where they can live in peace. “We have the power, we have the responsibility to create that world today and for generations to come,” urged Secretary Blinken. “We cannot – we will not – let one country destroy it.”