Speech by President Charles Michel at the UN Security Council

President Michel attended the UN Security Council meeting on peace and security in Ukraine. In his speech, he stressed how Russia might arm food supplies against developing countries. Global food security is a top priority for the EU, and we will do everything we can to help– he added. President Michel also paid attention to sexual violence and human trafficking in Ukraine and emphasized that sexual violence is a war crime.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council He spoke at the UN Security Council on June 6, 2022:

First of all, I would like to thank you for organizing this meeting and for allowing me to speak.

I was born in Belgium in the seventies, and at school we studied the great European artists. Names such as Victor Hugo, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Picasso, Goethe. But we also studied masterpieces with such names as Dostoevsky, Kandinsky, Tchaikovsky, Tolstoy and others. Great Russian artists of great Russian culture. They influenced and inspired my upbringing. But today, Russia’s brutality stands in stark contrast to the legacy of these illustrious artists.


(Photo by Kena Betancur / EU – 2022)

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, during his visit, met with António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations in New York on 6 June 2022

A few months ago I was in Borodinka, where Russian soldiers committed atrocities. war crimes. crimes against humanity. These crimes must be punished and those responsible will be punished. We need a guide. That is why we are now helping to gather evidence of these crimes. Impunity is not an option, and we welcome the interim measures taken by the International Court of Justice ordering Russia to halt military operations immediately. We fully support the investigation of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the work of the Independent Investigation Commission. The European Union is assisting the Ukrainian Prosecutor General and civil society in collecting evidence of war crimes.

Women, Peace and Security. This is an important topic that comes at the right time. Two years ago, Secretary-General Guterres called for an end to violence, both on the battlefield and at home. However, we are currently hearing reports of Russian forces using sexual violence as a weapon of war. Sexual assault is a war crime. A crime against humanity. The method of torture, terror and repression. Shameful deeds in a shameful war. This must be exposed and the perpetrators prosecuted with impunity.

This war has also caused millions of people to flee their homes and seek refuge outside Ukraine, especially women and children. I met many of them when I went to Ukraine, when I went to Poland, when I went to Moldova. They are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers. We, the European Union, are committed to their protection and safety, without any discrimination.

I listened attentively to what some of you had to say around the table. We intend to provide education, health care and access to the labor market. We also work to end human trafficking and protect people fleeing war. Unfortunately, sexual and gender-based violence is a global threat used as a weapon of war facing women and girls around the world. Afghanistan. Ethiopia. Democratic Republic of the Congo. Central African Republic. Myanmar. South Sudan. Yemen and other countries.

So we, along with UN Women, Dr. The Mukwege Foundation and the Nadia Initiative are organizing the second conference on women in conflict in a few days in Brussels. I sincerely hope that we can build momentum and redouble our joint efforts to seriously address this critical issue.

Mr. Ambassador of the Russian Federation, let’s face it. The Kremlin is using food supplies as a secret missile against developing countries. The tragic consequences of the Russian war are spreading all over the world. This drives up food prices, pushes people into poverty and destabilizes entire regions. Only Russia is responsible for this food crisis. Despite the Kremlin’s campaign of lies and misinformation. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. A few weeks ago in Odessa, millions of tons of grain and wheat were trapped in containers and ships by Russian warships in the Black Sea and by the Russian attack on transport infrastructure. It is Russian tanks, bombs and Russian mines that prevent Ukraine from planting and harvesting.

The Kremlin also focuses on grain storage and grain theft in Ukraine and blames others. This is cowardly. This is pure and simple propaganda. Let’s understand the facts. The European Union has no sanctions against Russia’s agricultural sector. zero. Even our sanctions against the Russian transport sector do not go beyond our borders in the European Union. [U mag de zaal verlaten, misschien is het makkelijker om niet naar de waarheid te luisteren, meneer ambassadeur.] Our sanctions do not prevent Russian-flagged ships from transporting grain, food or fertilizer to developing countries. On the contrary, the European Union is doing everything in its power to help Ukrainian agricultural exports and support the Ukrainian agricultural sector for the upcoming season.

Global food security is a top priority for the European Union, and we will do everything we can to help solve this challenge and help developing countries. And to do that, we need to open the Black Sea. We fully support Secretary-General Guterres’ efforts to find solutions to reopen Ukraine’s sea routes to exports. We will actively contribute to the work of the Global Crisis Response Group and will work with the Group of Seven and the African Union.

The Kremlin may ban and prosecute the use of the word “war,” but that doesn’t change the grim reality. Thousands of dead Ukrainian women, children and men. atrocities. rape. Countless Ukrainian cities were bombed and reduced to rubble. This is a war. A barbaric war waged by a permanent member of this council.

Mr. Ambassador of Ukraine: We will continue our support to Ukraine. We will continue to support your country and people. We will continue to put pressure on Russia and confront Russia with the truth. Russia is attacking one country and one people, Ukraine. But Russia is also attacking the values ​​and principles of this house. Human dignity, tolerance, multilateral cooperation and international law. Those are our shared values, the foundation of this house. So this is more than just a war against one nation. It is a war against everything we have built for generations since World War II. The EU’s commitment to the UN Charter is unwavering. The European Union is a reliable, loyal and respected partner. We will continue to work together on the global stage to create a safer, freer and more prosperous world.”

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