Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York

230222 - UN General Assembly: Emergency Special Session 11 - UN Charter Principles underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine


22 February 2023

Statement by H.E. The Hon Mitch Fifield, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Australian Mission to the United Nations

Australia is proud, proud to stand alongside our partners to co-sponsor this resolution underscoring the need for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.

Let me be clear at the outset, one year on, Australia continues to condemn Russia’s illegal and immoral full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This aggression cannot be normalised. It cannot be minimised. We strongly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

Mr President, we urge all member states to support this resolution.

Doing so demonstrates our unreserved commitment to upholding international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations. It confirms that we will not accept a situation where larger countries determine the fate of smaller countries.

It shows President Putin that Russia’s prolonged war impacts all nations and all peoples. It is not only causing immense human suffering, but also exacerbating existing stresses in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, and heightening energy and food insecurity.

President Putin’s destabilising behaviour and nuclear threats are acts of hostility, threatening the peace and security of all. Mr Putin’s joint statement with the leaders of the other four nuclear weapons states in January last year emphasised that a “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. This commitment should not be forgotten.   

Australia calls on Russia to end its war and to unconditionally withdraw from Ukraine’s territory, consistent with the legally binding decision of the International Court of Justice. The ongoing injuries suffered by Ukraine as a result of Russia's violations of international law also require full reparation by Russia. Australia has imposed sanctions on Belarusian and Iranian targets involved in Russia’s war efforts. We reiterate that those who provide material support to Russia will face consequences.

The Australian Government has committedd approximately $655 million in assistance to empower Ukraine to resolve this conflict on its own terms and meet the immediate needs of the Ukrainian people. 

Australia continues to work with our partners to hold Russia accountable. We have imposed over 900 targeted financial sanctions on those responsible and comprehensive import and export bans. Australia continues to work with partners to impose costs on Russia in the multilateral system to show that the invasion has severe consequences for its global standing. 

Australia again calls on Russia to immediately comply with its obligations under international law, including the Charter of the United Nations and international humanitarian law.

It is imperative that we ensure accountability for the commission of serious international crimes in Ukraine. That is why we continue to support the important work of the International Criminal Court and independent UN Commission of Inquiry.

On 24 February, Australia will make further announcements to mark one year since Russia's full-scale invasion.

We will continue to call for the sovereignty of all nations – large and small – to be respected.

Australia mourns the incalculable losses inflicted by the invasion and honours the resilience of the Ukrainian people.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an attack on all.  And reminds us how much we have to lose if we fail to protect the UN system.