10 Oct 2022
1 It has been more than seven months since the Russian Federation, a Permanent Member of the Security Council, launched its invasion of Ukraine, an independent and sovereign nation, and a member of the United Nations (UN). Singapore has taken a consistent position on the need to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of all countries. The unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a flagrant violation of international law and the UN Charter. On 1 March 2022, the General Assembly adopted a resolution with the support of an overwhelming majority of countries to reaffirm its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The resolution we adopted in March also demanded that Russia must immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine.
2 We are deeply disappointed and extremely concerned that after seven months, the war in Ukraine continues unabated. In fact, the war is escalating with mounting casualties. Russia’s recent decision to organise referenda in four regions and its decision to subsequently annex four regions within Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders is not only a further escalation of the conflict; it is also a clear violation of international law and the principles of the UN Charter. The indiscriminate attacks launched by Russia last night on civilians across Ukraine is also clearly unacceptable.
3 We entirely support and endorse the views of the UN Secretary-General when he said that the annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law. The Secretary-General added that any decision to proceed with the annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned.
4 Singapore would like to reiterate its position that the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected. The rules-based multilateral system is built on respect for international law and the principles of the UN Charter. For small states like Singapore, the principles of the UN Charter and international law are not matters of academic debate; they are a matter of life and death. A system based on the idea that might is right is simply unacceptable.
5 Singapore has co-sponsored the resolution that has been placed before the General Assembly and we will support its adoption by voting YES. We will do so as a matter of principle. We believe it is important for the General Assembly to adopt this resolution by a clear majority and to send a clear signal to the world that international law must be respected, sovereignty must not be violated, and territorial integrity must be protected.
6 Singapore would therefore like to urge all Member States of the General Assembly to vote in support of the resolution that has been placed before us today in the interest of upholding international law, the principles of the UN Charter, and the rules-based multilateral system.
Thank you for your attention.
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