Ukraine assumed monthly Presidency in the UN Security Council as of 1 February 2017
During the Presidency Ukraine intends to focus the attention of the Council members on such issues as conflicts in Europe, combating terrorism, and on upholding the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter.
Ukraine is also striving to enhance transparency and democratic character of Council’s procedures throughout its Presidency.
Priorities of Ukraine in the UN Security Council
As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2016-2017 Ukraine will focus its attention on the following issues during its tenure at the Council:
• Countering Russian aggression against territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine
Ukraine will use all available mechanisms of the Security Council non-permanent membership in order to put an end to the ongoing aggression of the Russian Federation against our country, including illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Along with other member-states of the Joint Investigation Team (Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Netherlands and Ukraine) we will continue to explore all avenues so as to ensure accountability for the downing of the MH17 in the east of Ukraine on 17 July 2014, as well as to serve justice for the victims and their families.
• Upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter
The recent history demonstrates an emergence of a worrying trend on part of some UN member-states to interpret in a rather frivolous way the purposes and principles of the UN Charter or even to blatantly disregard and violate them. Such a behavior constitutes a grave threat to the system of norms and principles governing relations between states; thus vigorous countering of attempts to undermine the existing international system is urgently needed for the sake of restoring and maintaining international peace and security.
• Strengthening UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding potential
Since the very first year of its independence Ukraine has become a significant troop-contributing country to the UN peacekeeping activities. Even in the current difficult times for Ukraine, which faces a foreign aggression against its territorial integrity and sovereignty, the country as a responsible member of the international community did not scale down its contribution to the UN peacekeeping activities and remains a key contributor of helicopter air-lift capabilities for UN operations in Africa. At the recent Summit on Peacekeeping Ukraine has made new important commitments to strengthen UN peacekeeping endeavor.
At the Council we will strive to seize the momentum generated by 2015 comprehensive reviews of UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding architecture in order to boost these critical UN endeavors.
• Improving transparency and democratic nature of the work of the UN Security Council
Ukraine is an active participant of the current process of the UN reform aimed at revitalizing and democratizing the Organization’s activities. We stand for transforming the Council into a more representative and open body and thus consistently support the idea of increased representation in the reformed Council of underrepresented regions, as well as improving its working methods.
Ukraine is committed to promote as a matter of principle a wide and constructive cooperation with all countries during its term at the Council. It is through permanent dialogue, consultations and continuing accessibility to all interested delegations that Ukraine will maintain its close contacts with other states in its day-to-day work in the Council.
We are also convinced that the existing system of using veto by P5 has to be reviewed. To this end we support initiatives by France and Mexico as well as the ACT Group aimed at limiting the use of veto in cases of mass atrocities.
• Boosting conflict prevention and mediation capacities
An emergence of new conflicts around the globe and a lack of tangible progress in resolving long-standing issues and protracted conflicts in different parts of the world testify to the need of improving the UN Security Council toolbox in such crucial areas as conflict prevention and mediation. We believe that our experience in dealing with the Russian aggression can be quite useful in strengthening the UN capacities in this area.
• Strengthening peace on the African continent
Ukraine is a staunch supporter of a more active involvement of the United Nations in conflict resolution in Africa. Increased attention on the part of the Security Council to peacemaking and peace-building in the African continent is going to be one of the main priorities for Ukraine during its membership in this body. To this end, we will use the unique experience of Ukraine’s participation in the UN peacekeeping operations and that of membership in the UN Peacebuilding Commission, including Vice-chairmanship in Peacebuilding Commission.
• Combating terrorism
Based on the urgent need to work out the effective international measures to combat terrorism, Ukraine joined the Global Coalition against Terrorism and reaffirmed its readiness to exert maximum efforts for a common fight against international terrorism, especially in the framework of the United Nations. Ukraine is a part of all existing universal UN anti-terrorism treaties.
At the Council we will support strengthening international cooperation in fighting terrorism and violent extremism, in particular through effective implementation of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.
• Supporting disarmament and nonproliferation
Having made a historic contribution to the global process of nuclear disarmament by renouncing voluntarily the world’s third largest nuclear weapons arsenal, Ukraine is in a unique position to promote the disarmament and nonproliferation issue at the United Nations Security Council.
We consistently stand for reduction of nuclear arsenals of states, an overall decrease of the role of nuclear weapons in the military and strategic doctrines, enhancement of the nuclear non-proliferation regime while reaffirming the inalienable right of all states to peaceful use of nuclear energy without discrimination.
At the same time Ukraine is convinced that real and effective disarmament and nonproliferation should go in parallel with creation and practical safeguarding of global security guarantees, especially for the states which renounced their nuclear weapons, strict compliance of states and international organizations with norms and fundamental principles of international law, as well as with the establishing of an atmosphere of mutual trust in international relations.
• Taking forward agenda on Women, Peace and Security, as well as children in armed conflicts
Ukraine will promote full implementation of resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (1325 (2000), 1820 (2008) and 2242 (2015)). We are convinced in the intrinsic value of active participation of women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Of equal importance for Ukraine is active support of the fight against impunity for sexual violence in armed conflicts.
We will pay very close attention to the issue of combating violation of rights of children in armed conflicts.
• Addressing environmental challenges
Ukraine is convinced in the need for the UN Security Council to more actively address the issue of security challenges caused by climate change. Shifting weather patterns, rising ocean levels, depletion or diversion of water resources and so on can all lead to tensions and international conflicts if ignored.
Ukraine believes that the UN Security Council has a special obligation to states, which are most vulnerable to the occurring changes in the natural environment, such as Small Island Developing States.
• Election of a new Secretary-General
Aware of a special role as well as a responsibility of the UN Security Council in the process of electing the Secretary-General, Ukraine will strive to contribute to making the process as open and transparent as possible in the case of selection and appointment of the next Secretary-General in 2016.
Embassy of Ukraine in South Africa