Conor: This is a good reminder that a) this war could be brought to an end if that wasn’t the last thing the US and the UK wanted, and b) when western media refer to the “international community” they’re typically referring only to US allies and omitting voices like the following.
By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies. Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and the author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 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. Their book War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict, available from OR Books in October/November 2022. Originally published at Common Dreams.
We have spent much of 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, mostly 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, the leaders of 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 breakdown of the UN system that recent wars in Ukraine and the Greater Middle East represent, 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 failure 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 how 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 peaceful 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 – 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 learn more about the “legions working together in solidarity… to impose the unconditional option of peace on the war lobbies,” as Jean-Claude Gakosso said, you can find out more at https://www.peaceinukraine.org/.
I was slightly surprised to see Portugal mentioned in the “peace caucus”, so I checked. I always prefer to read the original, but the first thing I found was a local newspaper in English:
The general tone is not quite what is suggested in this article.
I avoid corporate media as much as I can but none of this has got into the headlines that I occasionally scan. What a surprise! Thanks for posting.
The Global South are the adults in the room and the west are the children. Their leaders seem able simultaneously to:
1. Dislike Russia’s intervention in Ukraine
2. Understand why it happened
3. Want immediate diplomacy and negotiations to end the war
I suspect that is a similar position to that held by many people who visit this site.
The Congolese Foreign Minister referring to the Vienna Congress makes a lot of sense too. I wonder if people such as Truss and Harris even know what that was. Biden, of course, would probably think it refers to a casino.
Not hard to see why so many of these countries are demanding peace. These countries have had their economies throw into chaos by this war. Not so much by Russia’s actions but the sanctions that the west has launched which have caught up the rest of the world. At the UN meeting several days ago it was mentioned by Alexander Mercouris that they were seriously unimpressed with the west’s obsession with the Ukraine and them not really wanting to deal with any other world issues. And they have certainly noted the cavalier demands by western countries to take part in sanctions against Russia, even if doing so would result in famines. I suppose that if those countries asked the EU about the resulting riots, that the EU would reply ‘Well that is why you have security forces and an army for.’ There is no doubt now that this war has proved an inflexion point with international relations. Seeing the US blow up those gas pipelines to Germany has demonstrated that they will devastate the economy of a major ally in order to improve their own future economy. I suspect that Russia is more supported by the people in those regions than by many of their leaders who still, after all, have to walk that fine line.
When I look at the insanely reckless and aggressive behavior of the Biden administration I am reminded of the behavior of two elderly men I have known who suffered from senility.
JR Biden has displayed outbursts of irrational rage on many occasions in the past.
He was raised in a dysfunctional family and he has shitty boundaries as his behavior toward women and his daughter’s diary show.
And he is petty and cruel as the $600 still due to so many proves.
A petty, cruel and selfish man who “Had it made” and now it’s all going to go away.
Because Joe can no longer deny his own mortality and IT”S NOT FAIR!.
It’s all going away, no more AF1, no more people lining up to kiss his ass and IT”S NOT FAIR!
And since he is so much smaller on the inside than he is on the outside he’s gonna get even with the World.
Men like Joe are easy to manipulate and the titular President sets the tone.
Get Uhuru, get Trump, Get the potential DVE’s, Get Russia, Get the damn Germans, GET THEM!
And the whack job Hawks are given full rein at home and abroad, screw the consequences because for Joe it’s all going away soon .
The problem isn’t just that the US is agreement capable, the big problem is that Joseph Biden and his administration are objectively insane.
I put the odds of a Nuclear exchange started by the USA at a little better than 1 in 3, our best hope may well be Mutiny on the part of US Military forces when they are ordered to turn the World into a radioactive Cinder.
When I can honestly say that the USA would be better off with a Military dictatorship because the Military is not part of what acts like a death cult, it’s gotten very weird indeed.
And we are there.
I’m not sure how relevant Biden is individually given the aforementioned obvious senility. he’s the figurehead lf the administration, sure, but I’d be surprised if he’s truly
making any big decisions, or is more likely being fed policy devisions suggestively by his advisors who give him the illusion of leadership and control. I mean, the dude seems like an empty husk
Wonderful! Thank you. The voices of the pedestrians sideswiped by history rarely get heard. Their voices were more eloquent and direct than I’d expected.
On the Russian annexations. Russia annexed four Ukrainian provinces, including the parts that they don’t occupy. The incorporation raises four issues. First, will the Russians slowly be driven into a corner where “Attacks on Donetsk” become “Attacks on Russia”? We have already seen indications that Russian public opinion matters, so the “This is Russia” claim makes local Donetsk public opinion more important. Second, will the local armies be directly incorporated into the Russian army? Third, what will be the status of the nuclear plants? Will they still provide electricity to the Ukraine? Fourth, does this set up an Algeria situation? French Indochina was never “Part of France”. But Algeria was incorporated in France as part of the nation, which made it much harder to make an Algerian peace agreement.
Almost defenseless places like St. Lucia, Timor-Leste and the barely-functioning Ziare look nervously at what is happening in Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Kosovo), the former USSR (Ukraine, Armenia/Azerbaijan and Georgia) and the South China Sea and want less UN Security Council/Great Power politics and more UN General Assembly debate.
We forget that Soviet borders were re-arranged numerous times between 1921 and 1989. Plus the Russia Republic itself was technically a federation (the RFSFR) with many regions that still have very strong national identities. When the Soviet Union broke up there was a great deal of pressure in Russia to incorporate the ethnically Russian parts of Kazakhstan. Russian rulers resisted for fear of creating a general war like happened in Yugoslavia. The republic borders created the first “New nation” lines. Then later the messy issues came up in the Caucasus (Chechnya, Dagestan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) and also the post-1945 annexed regions (Moldova, Kaliningrad and the former Polish and Hungarian lands).
No problems came up in the Baltic states, which had been part of the Russian Empire since the 18th century. They had a mix of Slavic, German, Jewish and Baltic populations. They gained their freedom in 1918-20 thanks to local nationalism, the British Navy and some German freebooters. They were recognized as independent by the USSR. In the great 1938-40 carve-up, the USSR grabbed them for defensive reasons, a good move considering how close the Germans came in 1941 to capturing Leningrad and Moscow. Strategic depth matters.
But in 1989 they went free with no protest from Russia because the USSR had recognized them in 1918-20, a bit of legalism we in the west barely noticed. For good reason the Baltic states are afraid of Russia. But there has never been any Russian move to undermine them or reincorporate them, which would have been very easy to do before the 2004 NATO expansion. Russia is surprisingly legalistic on these issues.
It’s easy to call for “negotiations” and “peace” while avoiding serious discussion about the TERMS of the discussions. Russia refuses to leave Ukraine and Ukraine refuses to allow Russia to stay. What possible terms of negotiation can there be?
Consider an independent Donbas (free of missiles) in exchange for the impending rump state of Ukraine.
That ship sailed today, when Putin signed treaties with the four oblasts being incorporated as subjects of Russian Federation. Russia could be interested in negotiating for Ukrainian troops to withdraw to the new borders.
Which Ukraine will not do.
Putin couldn’t have been more emphatic:
That was the status quo ante bellum which Russia violated.
Because Ukraine was not upholding its part of the Minsk agreements and the West did nothing to make them. Should they continue to watch the slaughter of Russians in the Donbass? Dave in Austin makes good points about the arbitrariness of the borders above.
By the way, I am in no doubt that it is also convenient that the 4 oblasts fairly strong industrially and agriculturally, though I admit to not knowing what impact 8 years of bombing campaigns have had.
There was no mass slaughter of Russians in the Donbass.
No shelling? No deaths?
Support for this claim?
Support for the claim that there was?
Since you don’t refute that Ukraine violated the Minsk Agreement, I can only conclude you agree.
No, now you provide evidence that Ukraine violated Minsk.
Donbass was independent? Really? Even if not recognized by anyone and under constant shelling by Ukrainian army?
It was the status agreed on in the Minsk Accords, which Ukraine refused to act on, and this year former president Poroshenko admitted that it was just a trick to win time to prepare Ukrainian army for this war (though he would say that, wouldn’t he).
It was de facto independent (read: Russian puppet) and not being shelled.
Is not the Ukraine just a puppet state, so that would make a big puppet theater show don’t you think.
That was the status quo ante bellum which Russia violated.
No it wasn’t. The Donbass republics’ independence was not recognized, nor were they free from shelling and missile strikes. Ukraine, prior to Russia’s intervention, had in fact been preparing to invade the republics, and had increased shelling dramatically.
DPR/LPR were de facto independent (Russian puppets) and were not under bombardment by Ukraine.
Your statement reveals the false premise you are operating under, that the “ante bellum” period preceded February 24, 2022. In fact, Ukraine has been engaged in a civil war, fomented by a US-supported fascistic coup, since 2014.
The “civil war” was nothing but Russian troops creating puppet states out of thin air, and was a frozen conflict since 2014.
Where do you think the Donbas militias came from? Russia found them under a cabbage leaf?
Evidence of number/origin of so-called Donbass militias?
“Frozen conflict since 2014?” I have yet to read anything substantive from you – just short interjections and claims designed to stir the pot without anything to back up these claims. Why are you here? I find it difficult to take anything you say seriously, since much of what you say is easily refuted using even MSM sources.
If you have a specific factual objection to anything I’m saying, present your evidence.
Russia refuses to leave Ukraine as long as Ukraine insists in bringing US forces inside its territory in order to threaten Russia.
There are already NATO troops in countries bordering Russia.
They are not (yet) actively bombing Russian minorities in those countries.
So you agree that NATO troops on the border aren’t a threat to Russia?
This refutes “Ukraine insists in bringing US forces inside its territory” how? Do try to keep on point.
If NATO troops on the border of Russia weren’t already a “threat” to Russia then putting them in Ukraine changes nothing.
@RanDomino There is no basis for negotiation at this time.
It is a pity that none of the speeches from South America are directly quoted or even alluded to. The YouTube account of multipolarista has been discussing and publishing English translations of speeches given by South American Representatives on the Left end of the spectrum. There is a lot of direct criticism of the United States, and I think it would have been good to add that to this post …
For those who are interested Ben Norton of multipolarista has published his own translations of some of the speeches given by the leftists of South America that directly criticized the United States of America here: https://multipolarista.com/author/benjamin-norton/
Thanks for the link!
World map showing the international community we hear so much about:
I first saw this map in an article: The End of the European Age (Ecosophia)
The end of the post links to the Peace in Ukraine website. That website seems to be automatically displaying Twitter posts that include #peaceinukraine, so people who are posting #putinwarcriminal are getting space on the site. I suspect that was not what they intended. I can’t see a contact page to let them know either.