U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres repeated his call Friday for Russia to stop its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, while a group of some 50 members of the world body demanded Moscow's immediate withdrawal prior to the second anniversary of the start of the war.

"The United Nations Charter and international law are our guide to creating a world free from the scourge of war. Yet Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine directly violated both," Guterres told a session of the U.N. Security Council.

The U.N. Security Council convenes an unscheduled session on Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Feb. 23, 2024, marking its second anniversary the following day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we have had two years of fighting, two years of suffering, two years of stoking global tensions and straining global relations," Guterres said, adding, "Enough."

The U.N. General Assembly convened a meeting to discuss the invasion the same day. But unlike a year ago, the plenary session did not adopt a resolution -- partly because, diplomatic sources said, interest among member states has shifted since October to the war between Israel and the Hamas militant group.

On Friday, some 50 U.N. members, including the United States, Japan and South Korea, as well as the European Union, released a statement calling for Russia to withdraw immediately from Ukraine and for countries including North Korea to stop providing weapons to Moscow.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba read out the statement at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

The signatories demanded that Russia stop the war in Ukraine and "ensure the full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."

They described Russia's seizure of Crimea in 2014 and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched on Feb. 24, 2022, as a "flagrant violation of international law."

Russia's attacks on Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure "may constitute war crimes," the statement said.

The signatories also condemned "continued military support for Russia's war of aggression, including by Iran, Belarus and the DPRK," referring to North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We urge all countries not to provide weapons and to restrict exports of all items critical to the military to Russia for its war of aggression against Ukraine," it said.

The United States and other countries have stepped up their criticism of North Korea, claiming missiles it has provided have been used in attacks on Ukraine.

Related coverage:

Japan PM Kishida to address U.S. Congress in April

North Korean missile found in Ukraine used European, U.S.-made parts

Putin gives Russian-made car to N. Korea's Kim amid closer ties