New York

25 February 2022

Secretary-General's press remarks following Security Council meeting on Ukraine

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you very much. 
 
The United Nations was born out of war to end war.  
 
Today, that objective was not achieved.   
 
But we must never give up. 
 
We must give peace another chance.   
 
Soldiers need to return to their barracks. 
 
Leaders need to turn to the path of dialogue and peace. 
 
Today in Ukraine, despite the growing operational challenges, the UN is scaling up the delivery of life-saving support, including in the eastern part of the country, on both sides of the line of [contact].  
 
Humanitarian needs are multiplying and spreading by the hour.   
 
Civilians are dying.  
 
At least 100,000 Ukrainians have already reportedly fled their homes – with many crossing into neighbouring countries, underlining the regional nature of this growing crisis.  
 
To strengthen our response, I am announcing today that I appointed Amin Awad, as the UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine.  
 
Amin worked closely with me for a decade in UNHCR.  
 
He will lead the coordination of all our efforts, including our humanitarian response, on both sides of the contact line.  
 
All concerned in this conflict must respect international humanitarian law and guarantee the safety and freedom of movement of UN staff and other humanitarians.  
 
Especially in a moment like this, it is important to remember that the UN is not just the chamber behind me. 
 
It is tens of thousands of women and men around the world.   
 
Feeding the hungry.   
 
Vaccinating children.   
 
Promoting development.  
 
Protecting civilians in peacekeeping operations.  
 
Mediating conflicts.  
 
Supporting refugees and migrants. 
 
Advancing human rights. 
 
Standing, delivering, extending a lifeline of hope.   
 
The United Nations Charter has been challenged in the past, but it has stood firm on the side of peace, security, development, justice, international law and human rights.  
 
Time after time, when the international community has rallied together in solidarity, those values have prevailed. They will prevail, independently of what happened today. 
 
We must do everything in our power so that they prevail in Ukraine but they prevail for all humanity. 
 
Thank you very much.