Peace is not just about signing an agreement,” said Miroslav Jenča, UN Under-Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, who briefed members during a meeting requested by the Russian Federation — as the one-year mark approaches since the Kremlin launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Jenča emphasized that Turning words on paper into action on the ground is especially important given the current complexity of the situation in Ukraine, as well as its implications for the future of Europe’s security architecture “and the international order itself.”

Truce on paper

The Minsk Agreement – ​​also known as the Minsk II Agreement – ​​was signed in February 2015 by representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Russia, Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.

The agreement laid out a series of political and military steps to end the fighting between government forces and separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Among other provisions, Minsk commits signatories to an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in some areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions – an element widely believed to have never entered into force.

The Safety advice has traditionally met annually on the anniversary of the signing of the Minsk agreements.

No formal UN role

Mr. Jenča reminded the Security Council on Friday of that The UN has played no formal role in any mechanism related to the peace process in Ukraine for the past eight years.

It was not invited to participate in the various negotiations in Minsk, or to the 2014 and 2015 agreements themselves, and it was not involved in the implementation efforts led by the OSCE Trilateral Contact Group – made up of representatives of three parties.

Though, The UN has consistently supported its implementationincluding through the Security Council’s unanimous adoption of resolution 2202 (2015) on February 17, 2015.

The organization has also offered support, where requested and appropriate, and provided expert support to the OSCE’s now defunct special monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine.

At the same time, Jenča said, the UN stands by its principled support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

“Deep shock and disappointment”

The council was also informed Martin Sajdik, who served as Special Representative of the OSCE for the Minsk negotiations from 2015 to 2019.

In addition to Minsk II, he gave an overview of other diplomatic achievements and setbacks during his tenure, agreeing to many provisions lacked the political will needed to become a reality on the ground.

He highlighted the OSCE’s focus on the security and needs of civilians on both sides of the contact line, saying civilian casualties had fallen significantly in the years before the current outbreak of fighting.

Among other successes, water management and conditions at border crossings had improved by 2019, a year in which – for the first time since fighting began in 2014 – not a single child was killed as a result of hostilities.

Against the backdrop of these hard-won gains, Sajdik expressed his “deep shock and disappointment” at the violent violence that has rocked Ukraine since 2022.