Letter to Rt Hon Philip Dunne, MP for South Shropshire
Along with many others, you will appreciate I hope, that the attacks and invasion of the sovereign territory of the United Nations Member state of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, also a UN Member, is actual transgression of the UN first Charter Article ‘to maintain international peace and security’.
Charter Article 2, includes the requirement on every UN Member ‘… shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State…..’
The United Kingdom enjoys considerable internation privilege plus responsibility, as one of the 5 original Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, which has its clear responsibility defined within its title. Bizarrely, in spite of its war on Ukraine, the Russian Federation remains a Permanent Member of the Security Council, with its veto power and, remains also a Member of the UN General Assembly.
Please advise me what actions His Majesty’s Government is undertaking at the present time to address this clear, acute and blatant transgression by the Russian Federation of accepted international norms that are enshrined within the present UN Charter Articles.
Coordinator, United Nations Association – Shropshire.
Shropshire rally for Ukraine
Exactly a year after the start of the war on Ukraine, a good number of valiant people, including a number of Ukrainian refugees from around Church Stretton and Ellesmere braved stormy conditions in Church Stretton to rally together and stand for a minutes silent vigil for the present plight of Ukraine and all its fearful suffering, deaths and destructions.
United Nations Association (UNA) Shropshire which launched the rally and vigil were joined by and welcomed the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire Anna Turner, representing King Charles III.
Our Lord Lieutenant said “I attended the vigil at Church Stretton to think about all those Ukrainians who have been made homeless, are living in fear, been forced to flee their own country, have died and thank all those who are offering help. It was cold and wet in Church Stretton on Friday but only served to remind me of their circumstances and how much colder and wetter it must be in The Ukraine”.
The developing Church Stretton community support provides lessons in English to local Ukrainian refugees. This, only made possible by generous households welcoming guests and organised through the Ukrainian inbox of the Hereford Diocese firstname.lastname@example.org.
The flags display showed the Ukraine flag hoisted high and centre and supported on three sides by the UN flags of the UK, France and the USA. Off to one side the UN flag of the Russian Federation had a wide black ribbon hanging from the top of its flag pole with the UN Peoples Republic of China nearby.
A raised rotunda displayed ‘Ukraine – for all our freedoms’
Speaking at the event John Crowe, Coordinator for UNA – Shropshire said “We thought it important to rally and send an appropriate visual message through the display of the flags of the five UN member states that are the ‘Permanent Five’ members on the 15 member UN Security Council.”
“The UK, France and the USA continues with resolute support for Ukraine’s defence while the Russian Federation excludes itself from international norms of behaviour and the rule of law by its acts of aggression”
We surveyed local responses to the question ‘Should the Russian Federation be suspended from the United Nations?’ The result showed 70% said yes. We suspect that had we conducted a similar survey in other Shropshire towns the result would be similar.
Commenting on the survey result UNA – Shropshire President David Oliver said, “What many people may be very surprised to know is that there no effective way for any of the Five Permanent members of the UN Security Council to be suspended or expelled no matter how terrible their action.”
“This is absurd for all to see and greatly undermines the legitimacy of the UN’s foremost Charter responsibility – entrusted to the UN Security Council, to maintain inter-national peace and security. It therefore is clear that, in this regard, it invites our question whether the UN should be renewed or replaced? Surely our inter-nation attempt at world governance for peace cannot be allowed to continue in its present form”
UNA-UK SHROPSHIRE’s MISSION
To provide a forum for Shropshire’s citizens to discuss or debate international affairs, with particular reference to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
To draw the attention of UNA – UK to matters of concern to members and the wider public.
The Shropshire Branch was one of the original branches formed in 1945. It is based in Church Stretton and covers all locations. Members from the surrounding towns – Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Oswestry, Telford, Much Wenlock, Craven Arms including rural areas, are encouraged to participate in branch activities.
UNA Shropshire has traditionally worked with partners in the community; educational, private sector and other organisations with a social conscience.
UNA-UK has supported and reinforced such partnership by encouraging other branches to follow its lead. Social and environmental responsibilities are vital in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Local partnerships are on-going with Stretton Climate Care, Fairtrade, Churches Together, U3A, and UNICEF.
An effective way of paying tribute to the work of those who have gone before, is to continue to invest in their experience, and aim to develop an even better future.
We can learn from their passion and capabilities and adapt them to meet the present and future demands of the UN, UNA-UK and the Branch.