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Update - UN Response to the War in Ukraine and Statement by World Federation of UN Associations

Today Russia’s month-long presidency of the Security Council came to an end. Instead of the traditional wrap up session, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia immediately opened the session to questions from the press. What followed was the expected challenges and defense of the war in Ukraine.

However, while responding to a question, Ambassador Nebenzia answered his phone. He concluded the call and immediately announced that the United States of America has expelled 12 Russian diplomats to the UN. The US has expelled both Cuban and Russian UN diplomats in the past, however it is a highly unusual move. What it means for the role of the UN in ending the war remains to be seen.

In the other major UN event today, the General Assembly kicked off an emergency meeting on the war in Ukraine. Over the course of the week, over 100 member states will take the floor to speak on the proposed resolution demanding that Russia withdraws its troops and immediately cease hostilities. The Secretary General stated, in his opening remarks, ‘The guns are talking now, but the path of dialogue must always remain open.’

Today UN Agencies reported on the immediate impact of war – 500,000 Ukrainians fleeing the conflict, most of whom are settling in Poland. 100 confirmed civilian deaths. The destruction of roads and other infrastructure. Imminent hunger and the potential failure of grain crops.

The United Nations Association in Canada echoes the sentiments expressed by the Secretary General and stands in support of the UN staff and their partners working tirelessly to pursue a path to peace and protect those impacted by the war in Ukraine.

In a show of support, I signed today the statement by the World Federation of United Nations Associations calling for adherence to rules which bar any member from vetoing a resolution on a dispute in which they are involved.

The United Nations Association in Canada will continue to provide information and insight on the UN response to the war in Ukraine. For more information please contact

WFUNA - Ukraine Statement 28Feb2022
Download PDF • 328KB


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