Secretary General of the Austrian Foreign Ministry Shows Solidarity With Ukraine at UN General Assembly

OrganizationsOther ♦ Published: February 23, 2023; 23:45 ♦ (Vindobona)

Secretary General of the Austrian Foreign Ministry Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal held a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York promoting peace and condemning the violation of human rights.

The United Nations has Passed a Resolution Asking Russia to Leave from Ukraine / Picture: © UN United Nations and Austrian crossed flags by Vindobona

On Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly approved a nonbinding resolution calling on Russia to cease hostilities in Ukraine. As the first anniversary of the invasion approaches, this sends a strong message that Moscow's aggression must end. Ukraine drafted the resolution in consultation with its allies, which passed 141-7 with 32 abstentions, according to Associated Press.

Austria was represented by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, at the UN General Assembly's urgent special session on Ukraine on 22 February 2023 to underline Austria's full solidarity with Ukraine. In addition, the Secretary-General delivered a speech at a high-level conference on serious human rights violations and exchanged opinions with high-ranking representatives of the United Nations.

At the special session of the General Assembly, state representatives again called for an end to aggression, barely a year after the Russian war of aggression began. After all, Ukraine, like every member of the United Nations, must also benefit from the stability and security of a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace. In his address to the General Assembly, Secretary-General Launsky-Tieffenthal emphasized Austria's commitment to peace based on the UN Charter and international law.

The high-level participation in the special session by the Secretary-General is an expression of Austria's full solidarity since day 1 of the Russian war of aggression for the Ukrainian population, which has been the victim of unprecedented military aggression for a year now. It is therefore important, of course, to continue to support Ukraine, in particular through comprehensive financial and humanitarian assistance. To date, for example, Austria has already provided more than 124 million euros in humanitarian aid and temporarily accommodated more than 90,000 displaced persons. In addition, Austria is tirelessly campaigning in international forums for an end to the war of aggression, respect for international law, and accountability for war crimes committed.

Thus, in a panel discussion on the human rights consequences of the Russian war of aggression, Secretary General Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal also referred to the need to comply with internationally applicable rules for armed conflicts. Tragically, however, this was not the case in the Russian war of aggression, as the massive humanitarian consequences of the aggression in Ukraine show.

Ukraine's Reactions and the Role of the General Assembly

According to Kurier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba applauded the decision. He said that the support for Ukraine is broader than ever before. In his speech, Kuleba also denounced the mass deportations of Ukrainian children by Moscow. He said Russia was deporting thousands of children to have them adopted by Russian families and re-educated as Russians. "This is genocide, and this is what we are facing today," he said. Moscow had most recently denied similar accusations. The departure of many Ukrainians to Russia is portrayed as an escape from the combat zone. The Russian side also denies the abduction of children, despite evidence to the contrary. When children are brought to Russia, this is often justified by medical treatment or recreation.

Currently, the General Assembly is the most significant U.N. body concerning Ukraine, as the Security Council cannot maintain international peace and security because of Russia's veto. As opposed to Security Council resolutions, the Council's resolutions don't have legal force but serve as a barometer for world opinion, according to Associated Press.