Gutterres’ visit to Ukraine: Another blow to the UN

Left: The Ukrainian President Zelensky, © Keystone Press Agency. Right: Antonio Gutterres, © Marcel Crozet/Flickr

Guterres visit to Kiev made it once again clear: the UN is not led by principles, but by States that regularly flout the most basic standards of decency.

On 28 April, UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited Kiev directly after an official visit to Moscow. His tour included sites of suspected war crimes in Ukraine, namely the suburbs of Borodianka, Bucha and Irpin. Guterres did not hide his horror and indignation, nor did he mince his words:

“When we see this horrendous site, it makes me feel how important it is [to have] a thorough investigation and accountability... I appeal to the Russian Federation to accept to cooperate with the International Criminal Court.”  

Initially, Guterres had been criticised for visiting Moscow before Kyiv, but in retrospect it became clear that his frank assessment would have been harder to voice if it were to be followed by a meeting with Putin. Of course, this did not stop Putin from blasting the Secretary-General anyway: not figuratively, but literally by bombing Kyiv during the high-profile visit. The message was loud and clear and President Zelensky summed it up nicely:

“This says a lot about Russia’s true attitude to global institutions, about the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and everything that the organisation represents.”

In January, a few weeks before the invasion, Guterres was sceptical about the likelihood of an invasion, despite the warning signs and the unequivocal assessment of the situation confirming an imminent attack by Russia made by the US. Answering a question by Al Jazeera journalist, James Bays, about the possibility of an imminent invasion, Guterres said:

“I am convinced it will not happen, and I strongly hope to be right.” 

Well, he could not have been more wrong, but there is little he can do about it now, or could have done then, for that matter. The UN is not led by principles, but by States that regularly flout the most basic standards of decency. Guterres is not directly to blame; the institution is, and anyone who has the power to change it, but chooses to sit idly by as atrocities are committed. This includes Guterres, of course, and all Heads of State, from the Pope to the President of the United States. 

Take ownership of UN-aligned

Unlike most organisations, UN-aligned is, primarily, its members. We are the New United Nations and though just a drop in the ocean, for now, we will carry on growing until we will become a force to be reckoned with! The more of us there are, the more chance we have of achieving our aims. Help us by promoting membership to you friends or to people you think have similar values. If every member added another, membership would snowball and we would be unstoppable! We also need active members: people who roll up their sleeves and contribute to the work of the organisation. Some already have, for instance, by writing articles for The Gordian, or offering to help with proofreading.

No matter what you can do, we want you. Write to us with your talents and we’ll make it work. 
The Gordian
The Gordian Magazine Cover

Off with the head! Getting Rid of Phoney Justice

Welcome to the September issue of The Gordian.

Executing a human being and punishments like solitary confinement are as coldblooded and premeditated as murder and torture can get. They are not in self-defence, because the danger has passed. It is not justice, because a person can always outweigh their deeds, and they can change, given the chance. The theme of this series is still justice and in this issue, we are looking at it from different angles, including those phoney ones imposed on the guilty with little or no respect for their welfare and human right.

This issue offers the usual mix of politics, interviews and culture by UN-aligneders across the world, including Ruby Goldenberg, Carla Pietrobattista, Katharina Wüstnienhaus, Victoria Davila, Partho Chatterjee and Maya Bearyman, Cristina Mihailescu, Omar Alansari-Kreger, Atika Harba and Sonia Roopnarain.

The editors are Adrian Liberto and Ariana Yekrangi.

Read The Gordian for free

The Gordian Magazine is a community-supported magazine that shares YOUR revolutionary ideas in regards to human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection. Every issue contains global news, opinions and long reads accompanied by striking photography and insightful companion pieces.

We promise not to spam your inbox. Find how we use your information.

Or become a free member.

Subscribe to The Gordian Magazine
The Gordian Magazine is a community supported magazine that shares YOUR revolutionary ideas in regards to human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection. Every issue contains global news, opinions and long reads accompanied by striking photography and insightful companion pieces.

UN-aligned uses cookies to make this website better.