Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the UN Security Council on Tuesday, the day after a deadly attack on a shopping mall in central Ukraine, to call for Russia to be expunged as a permanent member of the group.
Zelensky opened the speech by saying that whereas the UN did not yet have a legal definition of the term “terrorist state” agreed on by all UN members, that Russia’s war on Ukraine “demonstrates not only the meaning of the concept, but also the urgent necessity to enshrine it legally at the level of the United Nations, and punish any terrorist state,” he said.
He then went through a list of attacks on Ukraine since last Saturday, including the strike on a residential building in Kyiv, a rocket in the yard of a kindergarten on Sunday, and a missile strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, the president said. “Those who carried out the strike could not have been unaware it was on a shopping mall,” Zelensky added.
Zelensky continued with a list of additional strikes in Ukraine this week, and named the victims, including children, elderly and women. “I want you to hear the names,” he said.
He then asked the body, “who of you does not agree that this is terrorism? If in any other part of the world, any organization acted just like Russia who is killing Ukrainians, if a country killed any peaceful people, that would definitely be recognized as terrorism. Such an organization would become an enemy for all of humankind.”
“Therefore what is punished at the level of concrete criminals and criminal organizations must not go unchecked at the level of the state,” he added.
Zelensky then called on the UNSC to expel Russia from that body.
“The UN charter confers on the UN Security Council the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Article 6 of chapter 2 of the UN charter clearly states that a member of the UN which has persistently violated the principles contained in the present charter may be expelled from the organization by the General Assembly by the UN Security Council. Although Russia is violating fundamental principles of the UN and the international legal order, it is still not held to account at the global level. It still remains in UN agencies and even enjoys the privileges of the seat it occupies. The seat of the permanent member of the UNSC, which Russia occupies solely due to the short-sightedness of politicians at the end of the Cold War. Russia does not have the right to take part in discussing a voting in regards to the war in Ukraine, which is unprovoked and simply colonialist on the part of Russia. I urge you to deprive the delegation of the terrorist state of its powers at the UN General Assembly. That is possible. That is necessary. That is fair. Russia does not have the right to remain in the UNSC,” Zelensky said.