While the takedown of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 is currently under investigations, the
Security Council at the United Nations has been in extensive meetings on Friday, July 18 that have
left most of the representatives reeling after the tragic event that unfolded on July 17th
flight traveled through Ukrainian airspace.
Malaysian Flight MH17, which departed from Amsterdam to the Kuala Lumpur International, was
carrying an estimated 298 passengers from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the
UK Germany, Belgium, Philippines, Canada, and New Zealand – was traveling through the most
popular airspace above the Ukraine when it was shot down, causing it to crash land in the town of
Torez in the region of Eastern Ukraine.
After the long meeting that began in the morning of Friday at the United Nations Headquarters in
New York, members of the Security Council broke from the meetings without commenting on the
situation. When Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was approached by members of the press, the
usually loquacious Churkin said “I’ve already made my statement,” in reference to declarations
made before the Security Council in closed chambers.
“As it turns out [the] much touted so-called ‘Poroschenko’s peace plan’ turned out to be nothing
more than a smoke screen for intensified punitive operation in the East of the country which
is taking an increasing toll on the life of civilians, and for that matter, the lives of combatants
as well,” said Churkin after stating that Russia is deeply disturbed by the continued violence in
Hussein Haniff the Ambassador to the Malaysian Mission for the United Nations released a
statement where he thanked outpour of support in lieu of the tragedy which occurred on
Thursday, 17 July. As part of his statement, the ambassador demanded a full and transparent
investigation of the event that cost the lives of innocent men, women and children.
“According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), at the time when contact with
[flight] MH17 was lost, the aircraft was flying over non-restricted airspace. Furthermore, the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had declared the flight path to be safe,” said
Haniff. Adding that “Malaysia Airlines also confirmed that the aircraft did not make any distress
In his statement, Haniff noted that Malaysian government has taken immediate steps to dispatch
the Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) to Kiev to support family and the next
of kin of the victims. Additionally, Haniff stated that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak
met with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Nederlands Mark Rutte, President to Ukraine
Petro Poroshenko, United States President Barack Obama as well as Russian President Vladimir
Putin. In the meeting, Najib stressed that if “indeed MH17 had been shot down, the perpetrators
must be swiftly brought to justice.”
After the meeting, President Obama said that the crash of Flight MH17 was a “global
tragedy…there has to be a credible international investigation.” Earlier on Friday, the Secretary
General for the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, expressed his condolences in a statement where he
mirrored Haniff’s request for a “transparent investigation.”
According to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, the take down of the Malaysian Flight MH17
could have been the acts of separatists in the Ukraine.
“We are not certain, but we know that separatists have claimed before to have shot down planes
in the same area, and such aircraft does not crash on its own,” Bildt said to Swedish Television.
Adding that the crash was “almost unthinkable” for a commercial passenger plane to have crash
landed without any foreign interference.
However, the Foreign Policy Spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party of Sweden Urban Ahlin,
said that there is still an uncertainty if separatists are to blame. During an interview with Swedish
Radio, Ahlin said he “wait until I had all the facts on the table.”
Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire