Russia’s war on Ukraine is 'immoral': New Zealand premier tells UN

Jacinda Ardern opposes further nuclearization, choice of disarmament available with nuclear-armed nations.

Russia’s war on Ukraine is 'immoral': New Zealand premier tells UN

Urging reform within the UN to avoid “risk of irrelevancy,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday called Russia’s war on Ukraine as “immoral.”

“Let us all be clear Russia’s war is illegal. It is immoral,” Ardern said, emphasizing significance of the UN “remains as relevant today as it was” when founded in 1945.

She said Moscow’s war on Ukraine was “a direct attack on the UN Charter and the international rules-based system and everything that this community should stand for.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “suggestion that it could at any point deploy further weapons that it has at their disposal reveals the false narrative that they have based their invasion on,” said Ardern.

“What country who claims to be a liberator, threatens to annihilate the very civilians they claim to liberate?

“This war is based on a lie,” she added.

The New Zealand prime minister said Ukraine war has “severely undermined any confidence that we have the tools as a global community to act swiftly and collectively.”

However, striking an optimistic note, she said: “We will not give up on the ability of our multilateral institutions to stand up against this illegal war, or to take on the many challenges we face.”

'Disarmament of nukes, still a choice'

Pointing to use of nuclear weapons, Ardern said the nukes “do not make us safer.”

“In New Zealand, we have never accepted the wisdom of mutually assured destruction,” she said, adding in any such situation Wellington would choose the “challenge of disarmament than the consequences of a failed strategy of weapons-based deterrence.”

She said this choice of disarmament was available with nuclear-armed states.

Notably, in recent past, Australia, a neighbor and ally of New Zealand, signed a trilateral defense pact – AUKUS -- with the US and the UK who will supply Canberra with nuclear-armed submarines.

If and when ready for use, the AUKUS submarines, however, cannot enter New Zealand’s waters as Wellington maintains a nuclear-free policy.

“New Zealand’s position in relation to the prohibition of nuclear-powered vessels in our waters remains unchanged,” Ardern had said after the AUKUS was signed.