Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the official launch of the “Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations”
First of all, our thanks go to Venezuela who initiated this process and brought it to a logical achievement that we celebrate today – creation of a Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter. I welcome fellow Ambassadors, I also welcome two Chefs du Cabinet who participated in our celebration.
The ongoing 75th session of the General Assembly marks the anniversary of both the end of the Second World War and the establishment of the Charter of the United Nations. As you know, these two events are interrelated. That puts this historic and unique document in the spotlight. 75 years ago it became a cornerstone of a new World and gave all of us hope that there will be no more attempts to solve problems and achieve goals by force and coercion.
Needless to say that it underpins international law. Firm commitment to the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter, including sovereign equality of states, non-interference in their internal affairs and non-use of force or threat of force, became essential for maintaining international peace and security, sustained socio-economic development, and protecting human rights.
The provisions of the UN Charter are particularly relevant today in light of growing cross-border threats such as terrorism or pandemics. They are the basis for equal and mutually advantageous cooperation of all members of the international community in the spirit of mutual respect and solidarity.
Regrettably, the humankind failed to learn lessons of history and today, after 75 years, the UN Charter needs to be defended again. It sounds ironic, but unfortunately the reality makes it extremely relevant.
As our Organization, and the world order itself, are going through transformation to a truly democratic polycentric and multipolar setting, the United Nations is being tested for strength and relevance, because such processes cause pain in the minds of those who believe in exclusivity and do not want to abandon ideology of supremacy or neo-colonialism.
For these very reasons, there are attempts to replace the UN Charter-based system of international law with ambiguous concepts such as “rules-based international order” or “rules-based multilateralism”, when the “rules” are being elaborated by a narrow group of states and adjusted on a case-by-case basis. Examples of the promotion of “rules-based order” are more and more visible from arbitrarily labeling sovereign internal processes in different countries as “democratic” or “authoritarian” to undermining and even overthrowing of legitimate governments as well as imposition of illegal coercive measures against those who do not comply with the “rules” formulated by closed groups of allegedly democratic nations.
The sanctions, imposed in breach of the UN Charter, have devastating humanitarian impact on everyday life and well-being of many peoples all around the world, which is highlighted by UN special rapporteurs. Needless to say that they complicate crucially the efforts of the affected states to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
We need to speak out loudly against all these negative trends and combat them. That is why the Russian Federation, as a founding member of the United Nations and a permanent member of its Security Council, has joined the Group of Friends, which is created to continue defending the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter.
We are convinced that our Group of Friends will become an effective forum to protect the values shared by the whole humanity rather than by a fraction of it. We call on those states that share the importance of upholding UN Charter to join the Group. Together we will be able to make a difference!