United Nations Responses to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine


  • Alistair D. Edgar



Palabras clave:

United Nations, Russian invasion, Ukraine, international organization


Responses by, and across, the United Nations system to Russian President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 have varied. In the ‘political UN’ of its 193 Member States, Russia’s veto power left the Security Council unable to act, but the majority of UN Member States voted in early March to condemn the invasion as illegal and contrary to the UN Charter. Approximately 30 states, including China and India, chose to abstain and refused to condemn the invasion; and only five states voted in support of Russia. The Assembly also voted in early April to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, by a narrower margin of 93 in favor, 24 against and 58 abstentions. This essay looks at the range of responses –political, institutional, humanitarian, and other– from the various components of the UN system to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. How, and how well, did those components respond? How and why did these responses evolve as the invasion and war continued? What does the invasion and those responses tell us - if anything - about the willingness and the capacity of ‘the UN system’ to address such a critical issue and its global repercussions?

Biografía del autor/a

Alistair D. Edgar

El Dr. Alistair Edgar es Decano Asociado en la Escuela de Política y Gobernanza Internacional y Profesor Asociado en el Departamento de Ciencias Políticas de la Escuela Balsillie de Asuntos Internacionales de la Universidad Wilfrid Laurier.