By Patial RC
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on April 26, 2022 in Moscow that “It is my deep conviction that the sooner we end this war, the better – for the people of Ukraine, for the people of the Russian Federation, and those far beyond.” UN Chief has also been in very close contact at the highest level in order to explore mediation efforts through countries including India, Turkey, China and Israel towards bringing an end to the war in Ukraine.”
Will UN Chief’s close contacts and talking to leaders of China, France, Germany, India, Israel and Turkey, on mediation efforts to bring an end to this war help without getting the main player US on board? UN chief’s appeals so far for an immediate ceasefire, to allow for negotiations, aimed at reaching a peace agreement based on the principles of the United Nations Charter have failed. UN focus appears to be through Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths to explore and provide immediate humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
The UN is only focusing on humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine:
- In the past month, UN humanitarian agencies and their partners have reached nearly 900,000 people, mainly in eastern Ukraine, with food, shelter, blankets, medicine, bottled water, and hygiene supplies.
- There are now more than 1,000 UN personnel working in Ukraine.
- The World Food Programme and partners reached 800,000 people in the past month and are scaling up to reach 1.2 million people by mid-April.
- Griffiths will be going to both Moscow and Kyiv soon to bring about a humanitarian ceasefire.
- UN Chief Guterres arrived in Ukraine on 28 April after a stop in Moscow where he held a nearly two-hour meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
Questions on UN Relevance
UN the global body uniquely tasked with maintaining international peace is time and again failing to ensure peace. UN Security Council is the UN’s most powerful political body. So is this 77-year-old international institution, still relevant?
A group of more than 200 former senior UN officials have written to the UN secretary general, António Guterres, warning him that unless he does more personally to take a lead in trying to mediate a peace inUkraine or risk future of the UN. (The authors of the letter admit they do not know if Guterres is involved in any behind-the-scenes mediation).
Zelensky while addressing UN Security Council asked “Are you ready to close the UN?” he asked. “Do you think that the time of international law is gone? If your answer is no, then you need to act immediately.”
The UN or the Secretary-General has played no major diplomatic role in the Russia and Ukraine war to date. Lately it is a small welcome sign that Moscow will host the UN Chief Guterres. He has focused more on humanitarian operations inside Ukraine. It is to be seen how the UN’s good offices can help facilitate the de-escalation rather than only talking about humanitarian corridors and evacuations. The UN Chief while in Ukraine said. “I want the Ukrainian people to know that the world sees you, hears you, and is in awe of your resilience and resolve.” Russians shelled parts of Kiev even when the UN Chief was there.
UN Chief Guterres while in Ukraine said that Let me be very clear that the UN Security Council had failed to prevent or end the war in Ukraine. This was “a source of great disappointment, frustration and anger. UN Chief Guterres under pressure from former UN officials finally after over two months of the Russia-Ukraine war did take a tour of Russia and Ukraine which should have been done much earlier.
Stop arms supply to exercise a cease-fire
UN Chief should have talked to Zelensky to stop making request calls for demanding weapons so that UN Chief can rein in the Russian President Putin for an immediate ceasefire but that will not happen unless Biden Administration Okays as their war machinery industry complex will stop profiteering. It is only the US who is gaining from the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war. Ukraine by the day is getting converted into ruins and Russian economy is suffering and both are losing precious human lives.
No cease-fire can take place until the US, NATO and the UN has an in-house discussion to resolve the issue. UN has first to ensure that arms supply to Ukraine is stopped as a first step to get Russia on board for a cease-fire. UN Chief instead of vaguely asking Russia and Ukraine to have a ceasefire need to work out a negotiated ceasefire plan. The plan should be near acceptable to both the warring nations and the stake holders.UN Chief has to personally take a lead in trying to mediate a peace in Ukraine or risk future of the UN. No positive signals to an early de-escalation of the war have been received post UN Chief’s meeting both the Presidents of the warring nations during his visit to Russia and Ukraine.UN Chief and his team have to come out with an ‘Out of Box Idea’ to resolve the Ukraine Conflict. This war will have no victors among the two warring nations. Both will be losers.