Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the United Nations to reform itself while addressing the Security Council Wednesday.
“We should recognize that the U.N. finds itself in a deadlock on the matters of aggression. Humankind no longer pins its hopes on the U.N.,” Zelensky said during his speech to the security council, of which Russia is a permanent member nation with veto power on any of its decisions.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was expected to attend the 15-member nation meeting, as was U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also expected to attend. However, Lavrov was not in the room when Zelensky spoke.
Amid Russia’s 19-month-long war in Ukraine, Zelensky called for empowering the U.N. General Assembly in votes to overcome the Security Council vetos. Security Council resolutions, when passed, can impose real-world consequences like sanctions or authorizing the use of force, including peacekeeping missions.
During his speech, the Ukrainian President also presented the Security Council with his country’s 10-point peace plan, which included not just Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine, but nuclear safety, food and energy security, prisoner releases, implementing the U.N. Charter and restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Zelensky on Tuesday addressed the entire U.N. General Assembly, during which he accused Russia of committing “genocide” in Ukraine.
“War crimes must be punished. Deported people must come back home and the occupier must return to their own land,” Zelensky said in his speech.
On Thursday, Zelensky is set to travel to Washington where he’ll meet with President Biden as well as a bipartisan gathering of Congressional leadership.