UN General Assembly 2022: Macron denounces Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “imperialism”

Written by Dr. Florence Akano

Mr. Marcon told world leaders on the first day of the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level discussion on Tuesday 20th September 2022, “Today we must choose between war and peace.” He, like other international leaders, spoke severely against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, completely and firmly denouncing the acts.

President Emmanuel Macron of France addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-seventh session. Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak

Main Points

Macron remembered that “Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, destroyed our collective security… when it deliberately violated the UN Charter and the principle of sovereign equality of nations” at the end of February 2022.

The French President stated that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had declared Russia’s aggression illegal and called for its troops to be withdrawn, even as Russia continued its aggression, potentially paving the way for “other annexation wars in Europe, today and perhaps tomorrow in Asia, Africa, or Latin America.”

“The longer this war goes on, the more it threatens Europe and the world. It could lead to greater conflict where security and sovereignty no longer depend on the strength of alliances, but on the strength of armed groups… and subjugation of others,” he said, adding: “What we have seen is a return to the age of imperialism. France rejects this and will steadfastly search for peace.”

According to Mr. Macron, the conflict “undermines the premise of our Organization, undermines the only conceivable international order, undermines peace.”

With this in mind, he stated that he had been and would continue to engage in dialogue with Moscow, “because it is only by working together that we can find peace,” citing “the humanitarian, military, and political support that we are providing to the people of Ukraine so that they can enjoy their legitimate right to defence and preserve their sovereignty.”

Mr. Macron said he rejected the posture of states who claimed to be “neutral,” stating, “They are incorrect.” They are committing a historic blunder.” “Those who remain silent today are, in a sense, participants in the cause of a new imperialism…. that is trampling the established order,” President Macron said.

Mr. Macron stated that it is not a choice between East and West, or north and south, since “above and beyond conflict, there is a risk of separating the globe,” and he urged members of the General Assembly and the Security Council to stand up for “our most precious common good – peace.”

He urged Security Council members to “act so that Russia rejects the route of war and assesses the cost for itself and for all of us — and, indeed, put a stop to this act of aggression.”

With climate change, ecosystems “near the point of no return,” food shortages and price surges, imminent hunger, and terrorism, among other afflictions, Mr. Macron emphasized that “it is usually the most vulnerable people who are the most afflicted.”

“These are all issues that must be addressed immediately.” Many of these difficulties are generated by schisms among us, thus it is our common obligation to assist the most vulnerable in dealing with these challenges,” he says.

The remarks came as violence erupted last week on the frontier of Nagorno-Karabakh, an area at the heart of a decades-long dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, with Turkey siding with Azerbaijan and Russia intervening to defend Armenia. The fatal skirmishes have heightened the threat of Russia losing influence over the regional crisis, following the deployment of soldiers from the south Caucasus to Ukraine. The French president’s announcement is significant since France is a member of the Security Council. France has been participating in crucial discussions, such as those to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Mr. Macron also met with Iran President Ebrahim Raissi in New York on Tuesday in an effort to resurrect the 2015 nuclear accord, which was rejected under President Donald J. Trump’s administration.

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Dr. Florence Akano

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