President Stevo Pendarovski addressed today the online summit of leaders and heads of government of the member countries of the Core Group for the establishment of the Special Tribunal to prosecute crimes of aggression against Ukraine.
Below is the integral text of the address of President Pendarovski.
Honorable President of Ukraine,
Honorable Heads of States and Prime Ministers of the Member States of the Core Group,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me at the beginning, to express my gratitude to my colleague, the President of Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky for an invitation extended to me to participate at this Summit.
Today, we mark the 78-th anniversary of the end of the devastating Second World War. The post war period set the stage for deep transformation of the world into a rules-based international order with liberal values and effective international institutions. All generations of post war European politicians were convinced that our continent should never again witness such a terrible tragedy.
Unfortunately, this Summit is taking place at a time of unprecedented challenge to Europe’s security architecture provoked by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
The world is at a new historical turning point since the end of the Cold War. Russia’s use of force against Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity is an act of aggression in a clear violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and a blatant challenge to the international order.
From the very beginning we have condemned Russia’s illegal invasion in the strongest possible terms. I can assure you that the support of North Macedonia to Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity is unwavering.
We have to stand unified in solidarity with Ukraine because Ukrainians are not only defending their country, they are also defending the fundamental principles of the UN Charter.
North Macedonia persistently highlights the importance of an independent and effective International Criminal Court. It’s obvious that full accountability for war crimes and all other crimes in connection with Russia’s war must be ensured, including responsibility for the crime of aggression.
We fully support the Joint Statement on the establishment of the Special Tribunal as an international mechanism aiming to prosecute crimes of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Our country has joined the Core Group, and support the creation of a Special Tribunal in charge to investigate and prosecute all crimes of aggression and bring perpetrators to justice under international law.
I would conclude by assuring our Ukrainian friends that together with our international partners, we will do our utmost for Ukraine to prevail, international law to be respected and peace and Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders to be fully restored.