Zelensky Addresses United Nations Security Council 

Photo credit: AFP

In one of his most high-profile speeches since Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is addressing the United Nations Security Council by video link. 

Zelensky is expected to make the case that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. Evidence is piling up of civilian killings in Kyiv suburbs, especially in the town Bucha. 

The UNSC is made up of 15 members with five permanent members. Three permanent members of the high council are firmly in his corner. The United States, Britain, and France are all staunch supporters of Ukraine and Zelensky. But Russia and China are also permanent members of the UNSC, and each holds veto power over any measures that the council can take. 

There are ten non-permanent members that also have a say. In alphabetical order, they are Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates.

The UNSC is the most powerful body within the United Nations and is responsible for protecting and maintaining international peace. It has the power to enforce decisions that member states are obliged to follow. 

Experts say that it is unlikely that the UNSC will agree on measures against Russia because Russia and its ally China are almost certain to use their veto powers to squash any resolution on Ukraine. 

Zelensky is expected to ask allies for more weapons, and to further isolate Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. 

China has become an increasingly important ally to Russia and has avoided criticizing Russia in any way since it first invaded Ukraine. Brazil and Gabon also have close ties to Russia. 

In February, the Russian ambassador to the U.N. vetoed a resolution that was written by the U.S. and allied states that condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China abstained from this vote. 

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