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New Zealander Ardern laments the “failure” of the UN in the Ukraine war

#Zealander #Ardern #laments #failure #Ukraine #war

The UN Security Council failed in its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday, describing Moscow’s role as “morally bankrupt”.

Ardern, who has long argued against the veto power of the five permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States in the Security Council, reiterated her call for reform of the body.

The UN’s “failure” on Ukraine was caused by Russia’s position with a veto in the Security Council, she said in an address to the Sydney-based think tank Lowy Institute during a trade visit to Australia.

Russia used its seat on the council to take a “morally bankrupt position in the wake of a morally bankrupt and illegal war,” Ardern said.

New Zealand will seek reforms of the UN Security Council to ensure its value and relevance are not diminished, she said.

“We need to reform the United Nations so that we don’t have to rely on individual countries to impose their own autonomous sanctions,” Ardern said.

Russia must be held accountable for its invasion, she said.

Ardern called on the International Criminal Court in The Hague to allocate the necessary resources to investigate and prosecute war crimes.

New Zealand would intervene as a third party in Ukraine’s case against Russia in court, she added.

– China’s role in Ukraine –

But the prime minister warned against looking at the world in “black and white,” portraying the invasion of Ukraine as a war between the West and Russia or democracy versus autocracy, and ousting key players like China.

“Let’s not assume that as a member of the Security Council, China has no role to play in applying pressure to respond to Russia’s loss of territorial integrity,” the New Zealand leader said.

“Let’s not just isolate and assume only democracies hold that view.”

China’s growing diplomatic and security influence in the Pacific region — notably its signing of a secret security pact with the Solomon Islands in April — has raised concerns among some Western nations about its intentions.

But Ardern said China has long been a player in the region and it would be wrong to expect sovereign Pacific island nations to “choose sides”.

As tensions rise in the Pacific, diplomacy should be the “strongest tool,” she said, warning against isolating big players rather than engaging with them.

Even as China becomes “more assertive,” there are still areas for cooperation with Beijing, such as trade, Ardern said.

New Zealand has nevertheless put on record its concerns about China’s actions in the South China Sea, Hong Kong and its treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, including through multilateral institutions, she said.

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