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UN General Assembly opens an extraordinary emergency session on Ukraine

Olof Skoog, European Union ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly, on Monday, February 28, 2022, at United Nations Headquarters. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Olof Skoog, European Union ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly, on Monday, February 28, 2022, at United Nations Headquarters. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations General Assembly opens an extraordinary emergency session Monday with pleas for peace in Ukraine, starting a day of frenzied diplomacy at the UN.

Assembly President Abdulla Shahid asked envoys from the UN’s 193 member nations to stand for a moment of silence at the start of the session, the assembly’s first emergency meeting in decades. Shahid repeated calls for an immediate cease-fire, maximum restraint by all parties, and “a full return to diplomacy and dialogue.”

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is due to meet later today to discuss the spiraling humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

With Russian and Ukrainian officials holding talks on the Belarus border, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tells the assembly he hopes those discussions could lead to a halt in the fighting.

“The guns are talking now, but the path of dialogue must always remain open,” he says. “We need peace now.”

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