President Andrzej Duda spoke on Wednesday during the general debate of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. He referred primarily to Russian aggression against Ukraine. – This brutal war must end, not be frozen. This can only be achieved by restoring the full territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, he emphasized.
– Brutal Russian aggression has caused great global problems. It put the international legal order to a great test. The costs of these barbaric actions – humanitarian, material, but also environmental – are enormous and still growing. World peace has not been so threatened for a long time, said the president.
As he added, Polish experiences of World War II, invasion German and the Soviet Union make Poland understand the tragedy of Ukraine like few other countries.
– We know what death and suffering, destroyed cities and genocide crimes are. During World War II, 6 million of our citizens died, including three million Polish Jews. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was razed to the ground. But our history is also a testimony that even crimes and persecutions will not break the true spirit of freedom, that freedom will ultimately win, said the president.
– The denial of freedom is enslavement, there is imperialism and neo-colonialism, there are sick dreams of domination over others. Vladimir Putin unleashing war in Ukraine, wanted to rebuild the Russian empire, wanted to divide the world and make Europe permanently dependent on its raw materials. He failed. And I deeply believe that he will not succeed, he noted.
Duda: we must fight against distorting history
– Today the world once again needs brave and far-sighted leaders. Such a leader was the late President of Poland Lech Kaczynski, with whom I had the honor to cooperate. A leader who, several years ago, tried to awaken consciences, appeal to politicians, and warn against the imperial policy of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Duda said. He recalled and quoted Lech Kaczyński’s speech in Tbilisi during the Russian invasion of Georgia, including his words that the times of Russian domination in the region were over forever.
– Today, in this very place, at the headquarters of the United Nations, I want to repeat it: these times can never return! The logic of conquest, changing borders by force, disregarding the law and denying the Ukrainian people the right to exist must be stopped, Duda said. – This brutal war must end, not be frozen. This can only be achieved by restoring the full territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, he added.
He also called for the perpetrators of war crimes to be brought to justice and emphasized that Poland is engaged in activities in this area. He also added that in addition to the war in Ukraine, there is also an information war, and its blade is also directed against Poland.
– People are trying to slander Poland in various ways. This is because we have consistently opposed Russian imperial and neo-colonial policies and have supported defending Ukraine from the very beginning. We, as the international community, must draw conclusions from this. We must fight manipulation and disinformation. We must fight against the distortion of history. Reversing the roles of executioner and victim. Evil must be called evil and crime must be called crime! – appealed the president.
Duda: there will be no peace without solidarity between the richer and the poorer
– Today United Nations faces various challenges. The decision-making deadlock in the Security Council, the situation in which Russia, one of the permanent members of the Council, deliberately violates the United Nations Charter, and long-term debates are considered a symptom of the weakness of both the Organization and the states that constitute it. There are those who ask questions whether the UN is needed at all, whether it fits the current times, said the president.
– On behalf of Poland, a neighbor of the attacked Ukraine, a country that has accepted millions of refugees, I answer with full authority: yes. The United Nations is very much needed. No better global system of international cooperation has been invented. The UN best justifies its existence not here, in New York or Geneva, but by providing help and support to those most in need: children, war victims, the persecuted and the hungry, he added.
Duda emphasized that the current times require even more international cooperation and fidelity to the principles of the current order. – There will be no lasting peace without cooperation, without solidarity between richer and poorer countries, and finally without compliance with international law. Poland wants cooperation, Poland wants solidarity, Poland wants peace, concluded the president.
Main photo source: Jakub Szymczuk/KPRP