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Statement at the UNSC Emergency Meeting on Ukraine

Thank you President and I would like to thank the Secretary-General and Under-Secretary DiCarlo for their sobering remarks at the beginning of our meeting.


Mr President,


Tonight as we gather at this table we are staring into the abyss of a major conflict in Europe, a conflict that would have major global implications.


Tonight, the core principles of this United Nations in which we believe are under attack.


In Ireland, we know the importance of the rules-based international order.


We know the importance of respecting the voice and integrity of all countries – big or small.


Most fundamentally, we know the value of peace. We believe that one state threatening, and using, lethal force against another to get its way, or to expand its territory, is no solution.


Ireland has a deep understanding, informed by our history, that dialogue and respect resolve disputes. Tonight this drives our solidarity with Ukraine.


It is our collective responsibility, indeed our obligation, here at this table to maintain international peace and security. Nothing less.


That means we stand up for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of every Member State of the United Nations.


Let’s be clear – the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine have not changed.


The decision by Russia to recognise as independent entities the non-government controlled areas of the Donestk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, does not change those borders one iota. They did not change in 2014, and they have not changed this week.


We urge the Russian Federation to reverse this decision immediately. We urge the Russian Federation to refrain from further escalatory, unilateral actions which can only serve to further deepen the crisis.


Tonight, the path for diplomacy, the path for dialogue, that we have called on for so long, is perilously narrow. The principles of the UN Charter we hold dear have already been breached. These principles now risk being further violated.


This is the time to show courage, the courage and the time now to pull back from the precipice, the time to return to dialogue and to diplomacy.


The use of military aggression has no place in our modern world. Have we learned nothing from our history?


These United Nations rose from the ashes of two world wars. The senseless destruction of that era was born of a belief that military might makes right. This philosophy applied with modern weaponry would unleash devastation and human suffering, affecting millions of innocent people.   


Tonight we stand with the people of Ukraine. Tonight we stand with the UN Charter. We stand with those who even in this dark hour still have the courage and hope to bring us back from this precipice.


A resort to military conquest, for one state to impose its will unilaterally against another, to annex part of its territory has absolutely no place in the twenty-first century.


There is still a choice. A choice to turn from the path of war to the path of diplomacy and peace.


Mr President,


It is never too late to make the right choice.

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