The United Nations (UN) Member States, earlier this week convened the emergency special session of the General Assembly to call for an end to the conflict and suffering in Ukraine and to ensure that the UN Charter promise is upheld for universal peace.
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Chair at the UN and Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Satyendra Prasad affirmed that Pacific Island Forum Member States stands in solidarity with more than 100 UN member countries in calling for a ceasefire and commencement of talks.
“We welcome the beginning of talks between the Ukrainian and Russian governments and we call for an immediate ceasefire, safe humanitarian access to affected areas and the urgent withdrawal of military forces in accordance with internationally recognised borders.”
“We reaffirm the importance of the rules-based international order and the resolution of international disputes by peaceful means, respect for national sovereignty and collective action in response to unlawful challenges to national integrity and independence. In doing so, the PIF UN members join the widespread calls for return to peace and dialogue in the spirit of multilateralism which the United Nations holds among its highest ideals.”
Ambassador Prasad urged the world leaders to be firm and resolute in their resolve to uphold the United Nations Charter. He said that “the hope, aspirations and protections that flow from the Charter extends to Ukraine – as it extends to all other states who are members of the UN.”
He emphasised that member states were entrusted to uphold the UN Charter and called on member states to support the resolution condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Fiji lends its support to the UN Secretary General’s efforts urging guarantees from the Russian Federation that civilians and humanitarian workers will be protected to allow humanitarian support to be extended.
Ambassador Prasad stated that the most powerful steps that Russia could take were not those that will “extend war; but those that will build peace. We urge you to take those steps.”
Citing the devastating impacts of climate change and urgency required to address it, Ambassador Prasad urged world leaders to “focus on winning the war that threatens the security of states and communities across the World - that is the war unleashed by relentless and runaway climate change. For the World to do so; this war in Ukraine must end now.”
The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres in his address to the General Assembly stated that “Enough is enough. Soldiers need to move back to their barracks. Leaders need to move to peace. Civilians must be protected.  International humanitarian and human rights law must be upheld.”
UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid opened the special session by asking all envoys to stand for a moment of silence. In his address to the General Assembly he stated, “the ongoing military offensive is inconsistent with this. It is an affront to the founders of this organisation and everything it stands for. The violence must stop. Humanitarian law and international humanitarian law must be respected. And diplomacy and dialogue must prevail.”
Following Russia’s veto of UN Security Council action, members of the UN Security Council  called for a special meeting General Assembly – a first since 1982. The General Assembly has held only 10 emergency sessions since 1950, in line with the adoption of ‘Uniting for Peace’, resolution 377A(V).