On the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took part in the opening of the installation “Ukraine war – war Ukraine” in the framework of the action “Remembrance Poppies”. The President noted that the presence of the UN Secretary-General symbolized unity of the entire world with Ukraine. Ban Ki-moon assured that the UN would support Ukraine in its struggle for peace, security and independence.
Ukrainians know the price of peace as no one else, as stated by the President. According to Petro Poroshenko, more than 60 million people sacrificed their lives in the World War II for the world to have a right to live in peace. 8 million Ukrainians – this is the price Ukraine paid remaining completely destroyed. “We should prevent any wars in the future, because the price was really shocking,” the President emphasized.
The President thanked the UN General Assembly and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon personally for the contribution to the preservation of peace in Ukraine and the settlement of conflict in Donbas. “We all remember the decision of the UN General Assembly adopted on March 27, 2014 and are grateful to all 100 countries that voted for the resolution condemning the annexation of Crimea. We highly appreciate peacekeeping efforts of Mr. Ban Ki-moon,” Petro Poroshenko said.
The Head of State particularly noted: “We are grateful that on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, the UN Secretary-General is here to demonstrate his resolute support and solidarity with Ukraine”.
In his turn, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that he had come to Ukraine “to demonstrate unconditional solidarity and support to Ukraine and Ukrainians in their struggle”. “I am honored to be here with Mr. President and the people of Ukraine today, in this sacred place, where we commemorate a lot of brave soldiers and citizens who fought to defend Ukraine from Nazi aggression,” he stressed.
Ban Ki-moon has also expressed his admiration and respect for many people who had sacrificed their lives to defend freedom, democracy and human dignity.
The UN Secretary-General has praised the contribution of Ukraine to the Victory in the World War II and assured that the UN would support our state in its aspiration to live in peace. “Victims were not vain, the UN Charter stipulates that the main goal is to save future generations from war,” he emphasized.
Ban Ki-moon has expressed solidarity of the UN with Ukraine. “I am here today to reaffirm my support to the peaceful settlement of the conflict in order to defend sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. The United Nations and Ukraine are close partners. Ukraine is a state-founder of the UN. In the course of 24 years of its independence, it has been providing peacekeeping assistance to a lot of states in the framework of numerous operations all over the world. If Ukraine asks the UN to help ensure its peace and security today, I will do everything possible to help. The UN and the international community will stand next to the Ukrainian nation,” Ban Ki-moon said.
The Head of State is confident that along with the UN efforts aimed at the solution of the humanitarian situation in Donbas and the provision of assistance to IDPs, the work of the UN peacekeeping mission would also be efficient. “We expect that peacekeeping efforts will also substantially promote de-escalation of the conflict and establishment of peace,” he noted.
Ukraine has always been taking part in the UN peacekeeping missions all over the world. Today, our state counts on the assistance from the UN. “Ukrainian flag has always been a flag of peace. It has never been a flag of an aggressor,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
“We are confident that we will bring peace to Ukraine with our joint and coordinated efforts,” the Head of State emphasized.
In Memorial complex “National Museum of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945”, the Head of State, the UN Secretary-General, 96-year-old veteran of the World War II Ivan Zaluzhnyi and former prisoner of Auschwitz concentration camp Anastasia Huley placed a poppy, symbol of remembrance and reconciliation, in the installation.
Petro Poroshenko introduced the participants of opening the installation to the UN Secretary-General, inter alia, brave roofer Mustang, who placed a symbolic wreath at the monument “Mother Motherland”. Mustang said that they had “dressed” the monument in a wreath of poppies with national tapes “in the memory of those who defended our country. For us not to forget them”. The President expressed gratitude to Mustang for such a step: “Thank you! Good for you!”. Last year, the roofer repainted a star on one of the central Moscow skyscrapers in the colors of the Ukrainian national flag.
World War II veteran Ivan Anikiyevych Zaluzhnyi, who also participated in the opening of the installation, has gone through the entire World War II. He was wounded in battles of Stalingrad and finished his war path in the Far East. In August 1945, he stormed the Japanese garrison in the Korean city Seishin. (Now the city is called Chongjin, North Korea). Last year, his only grandson, 23-year-old Lieutenant Ivan Zaluzhnyi, was killed by militants in Donbas rescuing his comrades.
Ban Ki-moon was thrilled to meet a person who participated in the liberation of Korea.