UN Chief Antonio Guterres said that the UN Council failed to put a full stop to the war in Ukraine. He admitted that there was a lot of frustration, anger, and disappointment due to the failure.
“I want to be very clear: [it] failed to do everything in its power to prevent and end this war,” he went on.
The UN Security Council is a 15-member body with the primary goal of maintaining global peace and security.
It has, however, come under fire for not acting since the invasion began in February, including from Ukraine’s authorities.
Russia is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and it has vetoed many measures toward the dispute.
Mr. Guterres spoke at a news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday night, during which the two leaders criticized the UN Security Council.
“I’m here to tell you, Mr. President, and the people of Ukraine that we will not give up,” he stated.
Mr. Guterres, however, excused the UN, stating that while the Security Council had been “paralyzed,” it had nonetheless taken other measures.
“UN staff in Ukraine include 1,400 people who are working to provide support, food, money [and] various other types of aid,” he said.
President Zelensky said following Thursday’s briefing that Mr Guterres had an opportunity to witness firsthand “all of the war crimes” perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine.
The president of Ukraine has called the situation in his country a “genocide.”
Two explosions struck the city’s Shevchenko district during U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s stay, injuring three people and causing significant damage.
The UN secretary-general also went to several locations where Ukraine claims Russia has committed war crimes. The allegation is rejected by Moscow.
In the town of Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv, Mr Guterres addressed journalists in front of scorched and damaged structures.
“I looked at this website and imagined what it would be like for my own family,” he added. “The war in Ukraine is an absurdity in the 21st century.”
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General appealed for international help to save thousands of lives in Ukraine’s southern city of Mariupol, which has been devastated by weeks of intense Russian shelling.
“Mariupol is a catastrophe within a catastrophe,” he added. “Thousands of people require life-saving help, many of whom are elderly or infirm. They need an escape route out of the disaster.”
The Russian government has so far refused repeated requests from Kyiv to permit the last Ukrainian defenders and civilians trapped in the Azovstal industrial zone to be rescued.
However, according to the BBC, Mr Guterres later clarified that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had agreed “in principle” to allow civilians to flee the city.
Local authorities have blamed Russian shelling for the latest evacuation attempts failing, which has delayed their progress.