Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has proposed a Global Peace Formula Summit to address the ongoing conflict with Russia and restore security in the region.
The plan, which was first announced at a November summit of the Group of 20 (G20) nations, calls for a comprehensive approach to peace and security, including measures to address radiation and nuclear safety, food security, energy security, the release of prisoners and deportees, the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, and the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes.
Let’s first take a look at Zelensky’s peace plan and what it contains.
A key component involves restoring security around Europe's largest nuclear power plant, currently under Russian occupation. The plan also calls for measures to protect and ensure Ukraine's grain exports to the world's poorest nations, price restrictions on Russian energy resources, and aid for Ukraine to restore its power infrastructure, which has been badly damaged by Russian attacks.
Another important aspect of the plan is about restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity and the reaffirmation of this by Russia according to the UN Charter. Zelensky has stated that this is "not up to negotiation" and essential for the restoration of peace in the region. The plan calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops and the cessation of hostilities, as well as the protection of the environment and the prevention of ecocide.
It is worth mentioning that Zelensky's peace plan is not only about addressing the immediate conflict with Russia but broader issues such as protection of the environment and the prevention of ecocide. This is important as the ongoing conflict has had a devastating impact on the environment and the people who depend on it. The plan calls for measures to address this, including demining and restoring water treatment facilities.
The plan also calls for confirmation of the war's end, including a document signed by the involved parties. This is crucial for ensuring lasting peace and stability in the region. Without a clear and official end to the conflict, there can be no true peace. This is especially important for the people of Ukraine, who have been living with the constant threat of violence and aggression for far too long.
It is important to note that Ukraine's proposal for a Global Peace Formula Summit is not only about addressing the ongoing conflict with Russia, but also about building a more secure and stable Euro-Atlantic region. The plan calls for the prevention of an escalation of conflict and the building of a security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic space, including guarantees for Ukraine. This is crucial, as the ongoing war has destabilized not only the region, but also Europe as a whole, and has the potential to escalate into a larger conflict.
UN at a crossroads
In December, Zelensky urged the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations to support his idea for a global peace summit that would focus on the peace plan "as a whole or some specific points in particular." Ukraine's foreign minister recently announced that the government is aiming to have a peace summit by the end of February, preferably at the United Nations (UN), with Secretary-General António Guterres as a possible mediator.
The UN, an international organization made up of 193 members and with the UN Security Council at its core, has proven to be ineffective in its response to major conflicts. The UN has encountered its biggest crisis in Europe since the end of World War II – Russia's unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine. Analysts, experts and politicians often question the UN's ability to defend the rules-based world order.
Given the current context, the UN is facing its “San Francisco moment,” which means it is now at a crossroads and needs to change with regard to current geopolitical realities and challenges that the world faces. Since the UN is largely unprepared to deal with the major crises of contemporary international affairs, it has to be reformed.
Despite the growing fear of all-out war and its consequences on the European continent, the UN has been unable to address the situation.
Zelensky's global peace summit proposal is a comprehensive and important step towards addressing the ongoing conflict with Russia and restoring security in the region. The UN must reform and become more effective in addressing major crises of contemporary international affairs and support this proposal.
As the world watches Zelensky push for a Global Peace Formula Summit, many are questioning the government's true intentions. Some speculate that this proposed summit is not only about addressing the ongoing conflict with Russia but also about using it as a catalyst for reforming the UN or creating a new international organization that can more effectively address global problems.
It remains to be seen whether Western nations will throw their support behind such an idea, as Zelensky hopes. One thing is clear: Ukraine has a history of getting what it needs, often against all odds. In Feb. 2022, when Ukraine asked for heavy weapons and artillery, few believed they would survive the conflict. But just a few months later, it received the assistance it needed.
It is surely only a matter of time before Ukraine achieves the long-standing peace it seeks, whether it be under the UN or through a new institution. As the world watches, one can't help but wonder: will the UN rise to the challenge, or will history repeat itself with the creation of a new organization better suited to address the crises of our time?
The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.
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