The United States Opposes Russia’s Election to WFP Executive Board Leadership Post

Ambassador Cindy McCain delivered the following statement by the United States at the World Food Programme Executive Board

Rome, February 28, 2022

The United States condemns this nomination and believes that a
representative from Russia should not be elected to the position of vice
president in the World Food Programme (WFP). Russia’s attack on
Ukraine was unprovoked and unjustified. President Putin has chosen to
launch a premeditated invasion that will bring about loss of life and
human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and
destruction this attack will bring, and the world must hold Russia
accountable.
Russia’s actions constitute a clear violation of Article 2 of the United
Nations Charter to refrain from the threat or use of force against the
territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
We call upon Russia to immediately cease its use of force against
Ukraine and refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force
against any UN member state. We join Secretary-General Guterres’s
urgent plea for Russia to immediately withdraw all of its military forces
from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized
borders.
We call upon all parties to allow and facilitate the rapid, safe, and
unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to those in need in
Ukraine, to protect civilians, including those who are humanitarian
personnel and persons in vulnerable situations, including children, and to
respect their rights.
Russia’s action is a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Ukraine that has unleashed a humanitarian crisis in the heart
of Europe. It is unconscionable that a member state that bears
responsibility for the very conditions this agency is called upon to
address would be elected to a leadership position in the World Food
Program Executive Board, or in any other humanitarian agency.
Russia’s election would undermine the important and lifesaving work of
the World Food Programme.

The United States made the following rebuttal to the statement made by the representative from the Russian Federation: 

Russia’s attack on Ukraine was unprovoked and unjustified.  President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.  Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the world must hold Russia accountable.

To justify this invasion, Russia has invoked Article 51 of the UN Charter regarding the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense in the face of an armed attack on a UN member state.  However, Russia cannot invoke the right to self-defense because it was not attacked.  Nor can it invoke collective self-defense on behalf of the so-called republics it just purported to “recognize.”  Its recognition of these so-called republics— areas of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions that Russia has controlled through proxy forces since 2014— was unlawful and violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Russia cannot rely on the invitation of these so-called states to use force.