Security Council failed to halt Russia's war against Ukraine - Guterres

Russia is one of five nations that have permanent seats on the 15-member body and thus have veto power.

 THE UN Security Council meets on Friday amid Russia’s continuing attacks on Ukraine. (photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
THE UN Security Council meets on Friday amid Russia’s continuing attacks on Ukraine.
(photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

The Security Council failed to halt Russia's war against Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday as he promised to find other ways for the UN to be effective in this crisis.

"The Security Council failed to do everything in its power to prevent and end this war," Guterres said during a visit to Kyiv. "This is a source of great disappointment, frustration and anger."

Russia is one of five nations that have permanent seats on the 15-member body and thus have veto power. Russia has used its veto power to block any UNSC action against it on Ukraine, thereby underscoring the need for UNSC reform.   

"I have not the power to reform the Security Council," Guterres told reporters. "I have no illusions about the possibility to do it immediately, but I will do everything I can through making the UN as effective as possible in situations like these to at least compensate for a failure that I cannot solve.   

"And you can be sure about [our] total commitment to support Ukrainian people in this difficulty and to our permanent voice asking for the end of this war," Guterres said. 

 UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelensky appears before the UN Security Council via video link, earlier this month.  (credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelensky appears before the UN Security Council via video link, earlier this month. (credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

"Today, Ukraine is an epicenter of unbearable heartache and pain.   

'I witnessed that very vividly today around Kyiv: the senseless loss of life, the massive destruction, the unacceptable violations of human rights and the laws of war," Guterres said.  

It is important that the International Criminal Court and other UN mechanisms ensure accountability for Russia' actions, he said.  

'Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and of the Charter of the United Nations.    

"I am here to focus on ways on how the UN can expand support for the people of Ukraine, saving lives, reduce suffering and help find the path of peace," he said.   

The UN, he said, has provided aid to 3.4 million people inside Ukraine and hoped to increase that number to 8.7 million by the end of August. There are some estimates that as a result of the war some 25 million people could need assistance by the end of the year, Guterres said.