Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 12, 2022
Thank you, Sergiy. It’s really, really wonderful to be here with you.
Today is a monumental day. Sergiy described it as historic. It’s historic, as well. We just saw 143 countries affirm the fundamental principles of the UN Charter. You saw these countries stand up for territorial integrity, they stood up for sovereignty, and you saw these countries stand up for this institution.
After Russia’s sham referenda and attempted illegal annexations, you saw very few countries stay in their corner. In fact, it was only five,* and it’s pretty much the same five we’ve seen with them before. You heard Russia’s lies today in front of the General Assembly. And all of us heard those lies, and we all stood up against them. And when you look at the very short list of countries who joined them, it is not exactly good company. Instead, the international community soundly rejected the affront to territorial integrity, to national sovereignty, to peace and security.
And today’s vote has a practical effect. It means that in the eyes of the world and the United Nations, Ukraine’s borders remain the same.
Kherson is Ukraine. Zaporizhzhya is Ukraine. Donetsk is Ukraine. Luhansk is Ukraine. And Ukraine remains Ukraine.
The resolution also sends an enormously important signal to Moscow and to everyone: It does not matter if you as a nation are big or small, rich or poor, old or new. If you are a UN Member State, your borders are your own and are protected by international law. And that goes for every single country in the UN. They cannot be redrawn by anyone else by force. The UN was built on this idea. And today, the United States and the overwhelming majority of the world defended that idea. We defended the UN Charter that embodies that idea.
And we were proud to vote with the world today. And tomorrow, and the days and weeks to come, we will continue to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And we will continue to hold Russia accountable. We will continue to isolate Russia in this institution. And we will continue to honor the UN Charter and the international protections that we all have agreed to and that will make for a safer and more secure world.
So thank you very much.