International Medea Benjamin Nicolas J S Davies Ukraine

‘End War in Ukraine’ Say 66 Nations at UN General Assembly

"It's time to stop this mass destruction," said Congolese Foreign Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso this week. "It's time to stop this war."
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York City in September 21, 2022. U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies / Common Dreams

We have spent the past week reading and listening to speeches by world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York. Most of them condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the UN Charter and a serious setback for the peaceful world order that is the UN’s founding and defining principle.

But what has not been reported in the United States is that leaders from 66 countries, mainly from the Global South, also used their General Assembly speeches to call urgently for diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine through peaceful negotiations, as the UN Charter requires. We have compiled excerpts from the speeches of all 66 countries to show the breadth and depth of their appeals, and we highlight a few of them here. 

African leaders echoed one of the first speakers, Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, who also spoke in his capacity as the current chairman of the African Union when he said, “We call for de-escalation and a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, as well as for a negotiated solution, to avoid the catastrophic risk of a potentially global conflict.”

The 66 nations that called for peace in Ukraine make up more than a third of the countries in the world, and they represent most of the Earth’s population, including India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Mexico.

While NATO and EU countries have rejected peace negotiations, and U.S. and U.K. leaders have actively undermined them, five European countries – Hungary, Malta, Portugal, San Marino and the Vatican – joined the calls for peace at the General Assembly. 

The peace caucus also includes many of the small countries that have the most to lose from the failure of the UN system revealed by recent wars in Ukraine and the Greater Middle East, and who have the most to gain by strengthening the UN and enforcing the UN Charter to protect the weak and restrain the powerful.

Philip Pierre, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, a small island state in the Caribbean, told the General Assembly,

Articles 2 and 33 of the UN Charter are unambiguous in binding Member States to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and to negotiate and settle all international disputes by peaceful means.…We therefore call upon all parties involved to immediately end the conflict in Ukraine, by undertaking immediate negotiations to permanently settle all disputes in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.

Global South leaders lamented the breakdown of the UN system, not just in the war in Ukraine but throughout decades of war and economic coercion by the United States and its allies. President Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste directly challenged the West’s double standards, telling Western countries,

They should pause for a moment to reflect on the glaring contrast in their response to the wars elsewhere where women and children have died by the thousands from wars and starvation. The response to our beloved Secretary-General’s cries for help in these situations have not met with equal compassion. As countries in the Global South, we see double standards. Our public opinion does not see the Ukraine war the same way it is seen in the North.

Many leaders called urgently for an end to the war in Ukraine before it escalates into a nuclear war that would kill billions of people and end human civilization as we know it. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, warned,

…the war in Ukraine not only undermines the nuclear non-proliferation regime, but also presents us with the danger of nuclear devastation, either through escalation or accident. … To avoid a nuclear disaster, it is vital that there be serious engagement to find a peaceful outcome to the conflict.

Others described the economic impacts already depriving their people of food and basic necessities, and called on all sides, including Ukraine’s Western backers, to return to the negotiating table before the war’s impacts escalate into multiple humanitarian disasters across the Global South. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh told the Assembly,

We want the end of the Russia-Ukraine war. Due to sanctions and counter-sanctions, …the entire mankind, including women and children, is punished. Its impact does not remain confined to one country, rather it puts the lives and livelihoods of the people of all nations in greater risk, and infringes their human rights. People are deprived of food, shelter, healthcare and education. Children suffer the most in particular. Their future sinks into darkness.

My urge to the conscience of the world: stop the arms race, stop the war and sanctions. Ensure food, education, healthcare and security of the children. Establish peace.

Turkey, Mexico and Thailand each offered their own approaches to restarting peace negotiations, while Sheikh Al-Thani, the Amir of Qatar, succinctly explained that delaying negotiations will only bring more death and suffering:

We are fully aware of the complexities of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the international and global dimension to this crisis. However, we still call for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, because this is ultimately what will happen regardless of how long this conflict will go on for. Perpetuating the crisis will not change this result. It will only increase the number of casualties, and it will increase the disastrous repercussions on Europe, Russia and the global economy.

Responding to Western pressure on the Global South to actively support Ukraine’s war effort, India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, claimed the moral high ground and championed diplomacy, 

As the Ukraine conflict continues to rage, we are often asked whose side we are on. And our answer, each time, is straight and honest. India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there. We are on the side that respects the UN Charter and its founding principles. We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out. We are on the side of those struggling to make ends meet, even as they stare at escalating costs of food, fuel and fertilizers.

It is therefore in our collective interest to work constructively, both within the United Nations and outside, in finding an early resolution to this conflict.

One of the most passionate and eloquent speeches was delivered by Congolese Foreign Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso, who summarized the thoughts of many, and appealed directly to Russia and Ukraine—with parts of his speech in Russian.

Because of the considerable risk of a nuclear disaster for the entire planet, not only those involved in this conflict but also those foreign powers who could influence events by calming them down, should all temper their zeal. They must stop fanning the flames and they must turn their backs on this type of vanity of the powerful which has so far closed the door to dialogue.

Under the auspices of the United Nations, we must all commit without delay to peace negotiations—just, sincere and equitable negotiations. After Waterloo, we know that since the Vienna Congress, all wars finish around the table of negotiation. 

The world urgently needs these negotiations to prevent the current confrontations – which are already so devastating – to prevent them from going even further and pushing humanity into what could be an irredeemable cataclysm, a widespread nuclear war beyond the control of the great powers themselves – the war, about which Einstein, the great atomic theorist, said that it would be the last battle that humans would fight on Earth.

Nelson Mandela, a man of eternal forgiveness, said that peace is a long road, but it has no alternative, it has no price. In reality, the Russians and Ukrainians have no other choice but to take this path, the path of peace. 

Moreover, we too should go with them, because we must throughout the world be legions working together in solidarity, and we must be able to impose the unconditional option of peace on the war lobbies.

[Next three paragraphs in Russian]: Now I wish to be direct, and directly address my dear Russian and Ukrainian friends.

Too much blood has been spilled—the sacred blood of your sweet children. It’s time to stop this mass destruction. It’s time to stop this war. The entire world is watching you. It’s time to fight for life, the same way that you courageously and selflessly fought together against the Nazis during World War Two, in particular in Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin.

Think about the youth of your two countries. Think about the fate of your future generations. The time has come to fight for peace, to fight for them. Please give peace a real chance, today, before it is too late for us all. I humbly ask this of you.

At the end of the debate on September 26, Csaba Korosi, the president of the General Assembly, acknowledged in his closing statement that ending the war in Ukraine was one of the main messages “reverberating through the Hall” at this year’s General Assembly.

You can read here Korosi’s closing statement and all the calls for peace he was referring to. 

And if you want to join the “legions working together in solidarity… to impose the unconditional option of peace on the war lobbies,” as Jean-Claude Gakosso said, you can learn more at https://www.peaceinukraine.org/.

Nicolas J.S. Davies
Nicolas J.S. Davies

Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.

6 comments

  1. YESSSSSSS!!!!! It is about time the world poke about PEACE and Left the WAR MONGERS in the dust. The sick psychopaths behind Washington’s hell bent desire to keep the world in conflict must end, and we must start a NEW WORLD focused on repair of the planet, and peace for all humanity for a change. The people who continue this aggression are NOT Human, They are soul-less beings in the manner of MK Ultra design and they are in high positions of power like Biden and his staffers and agency heads and news media. All of them are evil and they foster evil. Watch as they cunningly try every trick in the book to stir aggression and far. The false alien attack is what Werner Von Braune said would be the last straw and he is right they have the capacity and have had it since October 1954. So don’t rule more false flag operations out and the blame game will continue when they want to demonize more innocent people. They are Pure Evil personified.

  2. All human being must unite in condemning any aggression against any people as they themselves are sovereign beings. Leave the people along. The US and it’s evil leadership must hear from the world in a manner that shows everyone that Peace is the ONLY solution. Why has the US continued aggression policies this far? because they are not kind, caring, considerate, loving and compassionate beings. THe enjoy seeing death, destruction and fear. And we the people of the world are now saying NO to this insanity. We all want to live in peace, and if Washington cannot accept that, then its darkness agenda will have to go. Humanity needs to advance and constant wars will not achieve humanity’s desire to see its full potential. Washington cares not about human potential, it hides behind terms such as Freedom and Democracy using these words to justify a killing aggression and bloodshed worldwide. It supports Israel’s continued war against Palestine, when the two can easily live side by side. Human beings do not want more war, they never did, They are peaceful by nature. Draconian agendas fuel Washington and its media. It is very clear this is the case.

  3. It is not Russia against Ukraine. Russia did all it could for years, with UN resolutions and extreme patience, after supporting Ukraine’s wasteful behaviour and indebtedness for decades. It tried to have a peaceful solution, to get USA and NATO to treat Russia’s genuine concerns, only to be ignored. France and Germany were delegated to help enforce the Minsk plans, but did not even try, and now Macron has gone fully mad, and Scholtz too weak for words, while Ursula drags 500 million of us into catastrophic support for what remains of “Ukraine”.
    Peace means negotiations. Russia is ready, but the rest???

  4. “The significance of the Russian invasion is even more acute if analyzed through the lens of nuclear weapons. More than any other non-nuclear-weapon state except Belarus and Kazakhstan, Ukraine, received through the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, an unprecedented set of tailored negative security assurances from Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the three depositary states of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). These assurances were extended at the time of Ukraine’s accession to the NPT as a potent political reward in support of the country’s decision to become a non-nuclear-weapon state by eliminating all nuclear weapons from its territory.

    Thirty years later, the country has been set ablaze by the Russian army. Europe and the world are now held hostage by a Russian president willing to resort to the threat of nuclear weapons use.”

    Peace is good. When we form pathways to it, it is important to have a clear and real understanding of the sides involved, their goals, and of the events that brought us here.

  5. ukraine does not exist—the americans have ensured that Russian speaking regions are now integrated in Russia—the remainder will be denazified and demilitarized; the immoral fascist americans have been exposed—impotent, incompetent, imperialist; peace is cowardice when faced with fascist nazi oppressors. this war will not end soon nor should it—Ukraine will lose more nazi soldiers more territory…it is no accident that americans always support nazi dictatorships—they have created many in Africa Latin America Asia—Russia China etc will not tolerate this any longer

  6. Peace, or at least an end to hostilities is inevitable, but so too is the next conflict. Sorry but that is the reality of boundless human stupidity on a finite dying planet. So who’s next? North Korea? China? What we are seeing is the death throes of a species in the grip of near term extinction. Lesson here: you can not massively overshoot the planetary capacities without triggering an abrupt systemic self correction. Relax, nothing is under control!

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