Statement of the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression on the Situation in Ukraine: Article 2(4) of the United Nations (“U.N.”) Charter is the cornerstone of the rules-based international order—the prohibition of the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

With the sending of Russian forces into the sovereign territory of Ukraine, the Russian Federation has acted in complete disregard for the prohibition of the use of force under the U.N. Charter and customary international law.  Pretextual invocations that purport to suggest a legal basis must be seen for what they are:  a perversion of international law.  There is no legal justification for any use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of Ukraine.  The Russian use of force constitutes an act of aggression, and can amount to the crime of aggression, with cyber-attacks potentially forming part of the modality of its commission. 

U.N. Member States must stand united in condemning this flagrant and dangerous violation of international law and ensure that the U.N. Charter is enforced, including rallying in support of the laws and norms against the aggressive use of force.  Additionally, U.N. Member States must decline to recognize any “new states” purportedly “created” through such illegal acts that violate jus cogens norms. 

Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this unlawful act, and especially the people of Ukraine and the soldiers on both sides who should not be forced to fight or die in the service of an illegal war.     

 – Jennifer Trahan, Convenor