UN Security Council speaks in one voice on Ukraine, lauding Guterres efforts

Statement marks first unified comments since Russia began its war on Feb. 26.

UN Security Council speaks in one voice on Ukraine, lauding Guterres efforts

The UN Security Council spoke for the first time in a unified voice on Ukraine since Russia began its war over two months ago, voicing support on Friday for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' efforts to broker peace.

The council expressed "deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine," and recalled "that all Member States have undertaken, under the Charter of the United Nations, the obligation to settle their international disputes by peaceful means."

"The Security Council expresses strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-General in the search for a peaceful solution," the council said in a statement. "The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council in due course after the adoption of the present statement."

The joint statement comes on the sixth day of the US's month-long council presidency. It is unclear if it will herald a greater consensus in the body, which has been deeply fractured after the Kremlin initiated its war on Feb. 26.

Russia notably vetoed a council draft resolution in February that demanded Moscow immediately end its assault, and withdraw all forces. The text had the support of 11 of the chamber's 15 member states.

Guterres, for his part, noted the significance of the council's unanimity, emphasizing "the world must come together to silence the guns and uphold the values of the UN Charter."

"I welcome this support and will continue to spare no effort to save lives, reduce suffering and find the path of peace," he said in a separate statement.

At least 3,309 civilians have been killed and 3,493 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war on the country on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.

More than 5.7 million people have fled to other countries, with some 7.7 million people internally displaced, data from the UN refugee agency indicates.