Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in the op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent.
On April 1, 2023, for the whole month of April, Russia assumed the Presidency of the UN Security Council.
Unfortunately, this is not a bad April Fools' joke, but quite an eye-opener of Western complacency as Russia mocks our fundamental values and respected institutions.
Article 24 (1) of the Charter of the United Nations stipulates that its Security Council, which is composed of 15 UN member states, has the following functions and powers: "In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf."
In February of 2022, during its last term as President of the UN Security Council, Russia launched its unprovoked all-out war against Ukraine.
On April 12, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden qualified the atrocities committed by Russia in Ukraine during this all-out war as "genocide" and later explained that: "I called it genocide because it's become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian."
Moreover, eight UN member states, namely Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine, have recognized this genocide with appropriate acts of their parliaments.
On Jan. 3, 2023, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal indicated that the damages caused by Russia's genocidal war against Ukraine have already surpassed USD 700 billion.
On the eve of the first anniversary of Russia's all-out war against Ukraine, namely on Feb. 23, 2023, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it "reiterates its demand that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."
On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for the "unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, contrary to ... the Rome Statute."
This means that, for the entire month of April, the UN Security Council, whose primary responsibility is the "maintenance of international peace and security," will be presided by Russia, a country sanctioned by UN member states for its all-out war, and whose president is wanted for his involvement in the hideous crime of the unlawful deportation to Russia of society's most vulnerable individuals, namely innocent children.
This not only defies logic and basic common sense but demonstrates a lack of firm political will of the West to take all the necessary measures to stop a genocide and ensure that Ukraine liberates in 2023 all territories occupied by Russia.
The sheer egregiousness of Russia's presidency of the UN Security Council should be a serious wake-up call for the international community to take all the necessary steps to help Ukraine fully regain and then protect its territorial integrity, which will promote peace, security, and stability in the world.