Statement by Permanent Representative of Ukraine Sergiy Kyslytsya during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of Second World War

Statement by Permanent Representative of Ukraine Sergiy Kyslytsya during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of Second World War

Mr. President,

At the outset I would like to express my gratitude for giving me the floor.

Ukraine belongs to the region where the Second World War was unleashed.

The first of September 1939 was far from being the initial stage of the plan designed by Hitler including in collusion with Stalin. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed in Moscow on August 23 had delineated the spheres of interest between the two dictatorsips and heralded further Europe’s division for decades.

The Pols and Ukrainians were among the first victims of a part of the plan when Nazi soldiers from the West and Soviet soldiers from the East marched in territory of Poland and today’s Western Ukraine and later invaded the Baltic states.

The Soviets killed thousands of Ukrainians upon the occupation, then killed even more withdrawing in 1941 while destroying and setting on fire important infrastructure in towns and cities in the wake of advancement of Nazi troops. Then in 1944 the pattern was reversed: the advancing Soviet troops were shelling while withdrawing Nazi troops were putting on fire all that remained.

The Ukrainians also sacrificed millions of lives in fighting the enemies in that War. Only two battles of Kyiv in 1941 and 1943 resulted in hundreds of thousand killed. The cruelest thing was that in 1943 to liberate the capital city of Kyiv from Nazi occupants on the eve of the anniversary of the Communist putsch the lives of dozens of thousands of Soviet soldiers were not spared.

And yet today there’s a country that demanded to remove from the EEG draft statement on today‘s occasion acknowladgement of responsibility of totalitarian regimes and horrors of Holocaust; to remove the need of addressing current security threats posed by the ongoing conflicts in Europe.

Without those things the following darft EEG statement if approved would have been incompleat. And it reads:

“With this special meeting of the General Assembly, we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and pay our earnest tributes to all the victims of the war around globe for sacrifices made in fighting Nazism and other totalitarian regimes.

This year is also the 75th anniversary of the United Nations – the institution created to mark a new beginning and assigned with a stewardship to maintaining international peace and security and preventing atrocities in the new world order.

While the adoption of the UN Charter demonstrated a united commitment to multilateralism and reinvigorated hope for international stability, democracy and prosperity, the end of the Second World War brought along different consequences to different States, and this, in particular, true to our region. The war and the horrors of Holocaust not only cost our countries millions of human lives, it also left Europe deeply divided for several decades brought even more injustice to some. While commemorating the end of the Second World War we have to remember victims of all crimes against humanity committed during and after the Second World War.

Our task in the commemorations is to draw the right lessons from history and reaffirm our commitment to not repeating mistakes from the past. Only by ensuring accountability for all crimes against humanity, war crime, we pave the way to ensure long-lasting peace. Upholding and strengthening multilateralism, promoting respect for international law and defending universality of human rights is key in addressing current security threats posed by the ongoing conflicts in Europe and beyond.

Peace in the modern world is still not universal and legacy of the Second World War should remind us of the need to act timely and collectively against the re-emergence of populism, nationalism, authoritarianism, racism and xenophobia.

Today, many other challenges – such as pandemics, climate change, terrorism, and cyber threats – contribute to list of threats to international peace and security. All call for stronger cooperation and a renewed commitment to a credible rulesbased international order, with the United Nations at its core. Global challenges require collective action and we owe it to the millions of lost lives that we commemorate here today.” End of quote.

Thank you, Mr. President.