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Following a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, Secretary-General António Guterres said Ukraine is "an epicenter of unbearable heartache and pain" and vowed the Organization "will not give up" in achieving peace.

António Guterres was speaking to journalists on Thursday (28 April) at the Presidential Palace.

Guterres said he had witnessed the pain "very vividly", including "the senseless loss of life, the massive destruction, the unacceptable violations of human rights and the laws of war."

According to the UN chief, "it is vital that the International Criminal Court and other UN mechanisms conduct their work so that there can be real accountability."

Guterres said "the Security Council failed to do everything in its power to prevent and end this war" and this is "a source of great disappointment, frustration and anger."

But, he added, "the men and women of the United Nations are working every day for the people of Ukraine, side by side with so many brave Ukrainian organizations."

Guterres said the operation in Ukraine is one of the fastest scale-up operations the Organization has ever undertaken.

There are currently more than 1,400 UN staff in the country, the vast majority of whom are Ukrainian nationals. They are on the ground in 9 operational hubs and 30 locations.

Until now, the UN has provided life-saving humanitarian aid to 3.4 million people inside Ukraine, and it should more than double that number to 8.7 million by the end of August.

Guterres also recalled some recent estimates according to which, in a worst-case scenario, some 25 million people could be in need of humanitarian assistance by the end of this year.

The UN is also expanding the cash assistance, distributing $100 million per month, reaching 1.3 million people by May and covering 2 million by August.

Food aid has reached 2.3 million people, and the plans are to help 4 million by May and 6 million by June.

Above all, the Secretary General said, "this war must end, and peace must be established in line with the charter of the United Nations and international law."

Guterres noted that "many leaders have made many good efforts to stop the fighting, though these efforts, so far, have not succeeded."

Facing President Zelenskyy, he said: "I am here to say to you, Mr. President, and to the people of Ukraine: We will not give up."

Guterres also provided an update on the plan to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, informing that, during his visit to Moscow, President Putin agreed, in principle, to the involvement of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This Thursday, Guterres addressed the issue with President Zelenskyy, and there are currently "intense discussions to move forward on this proposal to make it a reality," he said