Agenda Item 67:
The situation in the temporarily occupied
territories of Ukraine,
at the 58th plenary meeting of the
United Nations General Assembly
New York, 23 February 2022
The Holy See continues to follow the situation in and around Ukraine with the gravest of concern. As “threatening winds continue to blow in the steppes of Eastern Europe,” and tensions escalate in Eastern Ukraine and on the world scene, the international community must unite in support for diplomacy and peace.
In founding this Organization, the peoples of the United Nations expressed a determination “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors.” It is the duty of Member States to seek to resolve disputes through negotiation, mediation or by other peaceful means.
“The first victim of every war is ‘the human family’s innate vocation to fraternity.’” Over the past eight years, Ukraine has suffered the consequences of appalling conflict, with immense human cost, especially among civilians. As tensions now “threaten to inflict a new blow to peace in Ukraine, and call into question the security of the European continent,” we must remember that “every war leaves our world worse than it was before.” An intensification of hostilities will bring irreparable harm to the people of Ukraine.
Reflecting his closeness and solidarity with the Ukrainian people, Pope Francis, this morning during the weekly General Audience, expressed his sorrow, anguish and concern at the worsening situation in Ukraine. He said that once again the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests. Pope Francis then called upon all parties involved to refrain from any action that would cause more suffering to the people, destabilise coexistence between nations and undermine international law.
In the present crisis, there remain avenues for de-escalation. The Holy See continues to encourage and welcome all efforts to promote peace in and around Ukraine, while expressing its appreciation to those States that have responded to this humanitarian challenge. Now is the time for the Members of the United Nations to live up to the Charter.
Thank you, Mr. President.
 Pope Francis, Address to Participants in the Plenary Meeting of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, 18 February 2022.
 UN Charter, Preamble.
 Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter, Fratelli tutti, 26.
 Pope Francis, Angelus, 23 January 2022.
 Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter, Fratelli tutti, 261.
 Cf. Pope Francis, General Audience, 23 February 2022