The first statement since Russia’s February 24 invasion avoided using words such as “war,” “invasion” or “conflict.”

The UN Security Council issued its first statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, backing Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ efforts to find a “peaceful solution” to the crisis, but avoiding the use of “war,” “invasion” or “conflict.”

The Security Council statement was agreed upon by consensus. The short text adopted on Friday was drafted by Norway and Mexico.

“The Security Council expresses its deep concern about the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine,” it said. “The Security Council recalls that all Member States have an obligation under the Charter of the United Nations to settle their international disputes by peaceful means.

“The Council strongly supports the Secretary-General’s efforts to find a peaceful solution,” the statement read, which also asked Guterres to re brief the council “in due course.”

Guterres, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week, welcomed the Security Council’s support on Friday, saying he would “spare no effort to save lives, reduce suffering and find a path to peace.”

Asked what led Russia, a permanent Security Council member and veto power, to ratify the latest text, an unnamed diplomat told AFP that “all the good stuff is gone”.

The statement was the first show of unity by the Security Council since Russia’s February 24 invasion in what it called a “special military operation”.

Juan Ramon de la Fuente, Mexico’s ambassador to the United Nations, said the announcement was “a first step, but it points in the right direction”.

“It’s encouraging to see diplomacy taking a seat on the Security Council,” he said, adding that “quiet diplomacy is sometimes more effective than making a lot of statements.”

His Norwegian counterpart, Mona Juul, said it was “the first unanimous decision by the council since the start of this terrible war in Ukraine”.

“The needs and suffering of the Ukrainian people require the greatest efforts on the part of the United Nations, including the Security Council, the Secretary-General and the United Nations system itself,” she said.

Russia on February 25 vetoed a resolution condemning the invasion and demanding Moscow withdraw. China, the United Arab Emirates and India also abstained from the vote.

The United Nations, which is charged with ensuring world peace, has not established itself as a possible mediator for the peaceful settlement of wars, but has a primarily humanitarian role.

During Guterres’ visit to Russia and Ukraine last week — his first since the war began — he managed to get hundreds of civilians evacuated from the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which had been besieged by Russian troops for weeks. support.

More people are expected to evacuate on Saturday.

The 193-member United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed resolutions condemning Russia’s “aggression against Ukraine” and demanding that Russian troops stop fighting and withdraw. It also voted last month to suspend Russia’s membership in the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, citing allegations of serious human rights abuses by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.