The Security Council issued a statement on Ukraine for the first time

The Security Council issued a statement for the first time, expressing deep concern about the situation in Ukraine, but avoiding words critical of Russia.

“The Security Council expresses its deep concern for the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine,” said the May 6 United Nations Security Council statement. “The Security Council reaffirms that under the Charter of the United Nations all member states have an obligation to settle international disputes by peaceful means.”

This is the first time the 15-member United Nations Security Council, including five permanent members, the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China, has issued a statement on the situation in Ukraine since Moscow opened the war to the neighboring country at the end of February.

“The Security Council expresses its strong support for the efforts of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to find a peaceful solution,” the statement added.

The United Nations Security Council meets May 5 at its headquarters in New York, USA, to maintain peace and security in Ukraine.  Photo: Reuters.

The United Nations Security Council meets May 5 at its headquarters in New York, USA, to maintain peace and security in Ukraine. Picture: Reuters.

Russia has in the past used its veto power to prevent the Security Council from approving statements on Ukraine. In order to be adopted, the Council Decision needs at least 9 yes votes and cannot be opposed by any member of the standing group.

Juan Ramon De La Fuente, Mexico’s ambassador to the United Nations, whose country helped draft the declaration adopted on May 6, said it was “a very simple first step, but it will point in the right direction” if he was approved, asked why he had given the Security Council two months to draft a statement expressing its support for the UN Secretary-General.

Welcoming the council’s support, Secretary-General Guterres said he would “do his best to save lives, alleviate suffering and find a path to peace.” Mr Guterres met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Moscow last week.

His visits paved the way for a humanitarian corridor organized jointly by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which helped evacuate around 500 civilians from the port city of Mariupol and the besieged Azovstal Steelworks.

The military situation in Ukraine after 11 weeks of fighting.  Graphic: Washington Post.

The military situation in Ukraine after 11 weeks of fighting. Graphic: Washington Post.

Huyen Le (Corresponding Reuters, Guardian)