Censor.NET reports citing UWC press service.
In the prepared text of the UN secretary-general's speech distributed at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on June 16, 2016, as reported by Reuters Canada and Associated Press, it read that Russia "has a critical role to play... in addressing other pressing global issues, from ending the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, to safeguarding human rights and controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
The delivered speech, as noted by Reuters Canada and Associated Press, was slightly different. The UN secretary-general did not mention Ukraine but said that Moscow "has a very important role to play and I really count heavily on the leadership of the Russian Federation."
The participation of the UN secretary-general in the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg during a period of targeted sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to its blatant violations of the Minsk agreements as well as his promotion of the Russian Federation regarded by the international community as an aggressor state are reminiscent of the policies of appeasement that led to the Second World War.
"The Ukrainian World Congress calls upon UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to retract his comments with respect to the Russian Federation in both written and delivered texts of his speech at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg and instead to call upon the Russian Federation to comply with the UN Charter and its fundamental principles, in particular end the military aggression in eastern Ukraine and de-occupy Crimea," UWC President Eugene Czolij said.
As previously reported, in the original text of the Ban Ki-moon's June 16 speech in St. Petersburg, circulated by the UN, he said that the Russian Federation, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council "has a very important role to play... in addressing other pressing global issues, from ending the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, to safeguarding human rights and controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." According to the UN press service, he did pronounce these very words in St. Petersburg. However, Ban Ki-moon did not mention Ukraine in his speech. Later, the wording about "conflict" disappeared from the text version of the secretary general's speech at the UN website.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Volodymyr Yelchenko expressed his deep indignation at the statements by the UN secretary-general and requested a more detailed explanation of the meaning behind his words. In response, Ban Ki-moon's press secretary Stéphane Dujarric said the organization was not going to retract the secretary-general's words. After that, First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's representative in the Trilateral Contact Group Iryna Herashchenko said that Ban Ki-moon had lost the moral right to speak of a "constructive role" of the Russian Federation in Ukraine after attending the parade in Moscow while the United Nations itself was turning into a club of statements and not actions.