UN Emergency Special Session
Russian Federation’s Attempted Illegal Annexation of Parts of Ukrainian Territory.
Statement – Pacific Islands Forum Chair
Delivered by Fiji PRUN, HE Satyendra Prasad
Monday 10 Oct 10am
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Member States of the Pacific Islands Forum with presence here at the United Nations.
2. This is the third time our Forum members have addressed an Emergency Special Session of this distinguished Assembly regarding the ongoing illegal invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
We spoke out to condemn the invasion.
We spoke out in defence of civilian lives and humanitarian access.
3. Today we are here to again speak in defence of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and integrity in light of the Russian Federation’s attempt to illegally annex four regions of eastern Ukraine – namely Donetsk Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
4. The many islands and countries of our Blue Pacific Continent are diverse, with their own unique histories, cultures, and perspectives. However, there is much which unites us – including values of justice, fairness, and shared prosperity. Underpinning this unity is a shared belief in the value of the multilateral system enshrined in the UN Charter and its principles.
5. The Russian Federation’s attempted illegal annexation of parts of Ukrainian territory is a clear violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law.
6. The Charter cannot simply be worn like a prestigious cloak only to be discarded when perceived geopolitical interests are at stake. Every instance of such behaviour risks wearing it thin, dirtying it and eventually even destroying it.
7. Like our very air, water and land, the Charter must be treasured if it is to in turn provide sustenance to our global family. The many states of the Blue Pacific Continent understand this intimately.
8. We also understand the terrible human and environmental costs of nuclear weapons in light of our region’s history regarding nuclear testing. It is unacceptable that the use of nuclear weapons is openly threatened by a nuclear weapons state, especially against a non-nuclear weapons state. We therefore strongly condemn Russia’s latest threats to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine and possibly others.
9. We also strongly support international efforts to safeguard Ukrainian nuclear facilities against damage, intentional or otherwise.
10. As a permanent member of the Security Council, the Russian Federation has an even greater responsibility to uphold the Charter and the principles of sovereignty, dignity, and peaceful resolution of disputes which it enshrines.
11. Our Pacific Islands Forum family thus calls for the Russian Federation to cease its attempted illegal annexations of Ukrainian territory, to de-escalate the current situation and to withdraw to behind its internationally recognised borders in order for a peaceful resolution to the conflict to be achieved.
12. Such a resolution will not be found through coercion, violence, torture, bullets, and bombs. It will come through diplomacy, justice and respect for the values, rules and norms which sustain our global community, and which animate these hallowed halls.
13. From climate change to COVID recovery, hunger, and intractable conflicts– there is simply too much at stake for this needless, illegal war to continue to undermine our shared work.
Vinaka vakalevu – I thank you.