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Georgia’s Speech at UNGA’s Rare Special Session on Ukraine

At the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Ukraine, Georgia’s Ambassador to the UN, Kaha Imnadze has reiterated Georgia’s support to Ukraine amid Russia’s full-scale invasion. Below is the full speech as delivered by Ambassador Imnadze at the rare emergency session on February 28:

“Thank you, Mr. President,

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the representative of the European Union and in my national capacity I would like to add the following comment:

Excellencies,

We have gathered today in an emergency session because the Security Council once again failed as acting as a guardian in peace and security. So now it is upon us, the General Assembly, where we all have equal rights to vote to stand up and make it certain that the United Nations delivers on the purpose it was created for.

The use of armed force by a UN member against sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of another member state violates article 2.4 of the UN Charter and constitutes an act of aggression as defined by the resolution 3314 of this very body adopted by consensus.

What we see in Ukraine is an act of aggression on the part of Russia and we condemn it.

Last week, I spoke from this very rostrum about Russia’s pattern of behavior against its neighbors. Russia’s full-scale military aggression against my country should have served as a wake-up call for all. But alas, it has not been possible to prevent the similar scenario unfolding few years later in Ukraine. Not to repeat myself, let me just say that we in Georgia do know what the tall of war is. We do know what its disastrous consequences are for people, innocent civilians, women, and children who pay the highest price. It is devastating not only for those who live through it but passes down to generations.

Let me be clear, core principles enshrined in the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, The Charter of Paris for a New Europe, and the commitments taken under the Budapest Memorandum are non-negotiable, nor subject to revision by any country no matter how large or powerful it may be.

Territorial acquisition through the use of force or a threat to do so is illegal and impermissible. Georgia calls on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its military activities and withdraw all its forces and armaments from Ukraine; allow immediate access to all humanitarian and human rights mechanisms wherever is needed in the entire territory of Ukraine; reverse the decisions related to the status of integral parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Crimea; and to do so, the same with regard to Georgia, withdraw forces, allow humanitarian access, reverse the status-related decision with regard to the occupied territories.

Georgia was among the co-sponsors of the draft Security Council resolution that got vetoed. And we are co-sponsors of the draft General Assembly resolution that is soon to be considered. This resolution, although it concerns Ukraine, is a watershed moment for all of us, and I would dare say, for the future of the rules-based order and our United Nations. So I call on you to vote in favor of the proposed draft to vote to save the succeeding generations from the scorch of war, to vote for the United Nations.

And in conclusion, we welcome the Secretary general’s decision to scale up United Nations’ humanitarian operations in and around Ukraine, and let me once again reiterate Georgia’s unwavering support of independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders including Crimea and Donbas and Ukraine’s navigational rights in its territorial waters.
I thank you!”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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