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Madame Chair,

I thank the Permanent Missions of Albania and France for organizing this Arria formula meeting as well as all the panelists for their participation and contributions.

The UAE is deeply concerned by the continued fighting in Ukraine and the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation on the ground.  This conflict has again laid bare the terrible human costs of war – and those costs are largely borne by millions of civilians, in particular women and children. But as we know, its repercussions are increasingly felt beyond the borders of Ukraine.

We, along with the rest of the international community, have been shocked by the reports and images that we have seen coming out of Ukraine over the past weeks, including of alleged targeting and summary executions of civilians, conflict-related sexual violence, and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.  

The UAE reiterates its call on all parties to uphold international humanitarian law and international human rights law and we strongly condemn all atrocities and violations of these laws in all their forms.

Accountability is not optional; it is essential. Achieving justice for victims and survivors, effectively fighting impunity, and deterring future atrocities requires properly instituted mechanisms and processes. Establishing facts and circumstances in an impartial manner and beyond any doubt or dispute is both fundamental and difficult, as we have seen in other cases. Therefore, it is critical to ensure the proper investigation of alleged crimes, focusing on fact-finding and data collection.

We underline that the primary responsibility for accountability lies at the national level,and appropriate authorities should be given the space needed to fulfill that responsibility. We encourage support for domestic rule of law institutions and investigative processes and note the importance of providing such support in cooperation with national officials.

As a member of the Human Rights Council, the UAE voted in favor of resolution 49/1 establishing the  Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine with a mandate that includes investigating all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as documenting and verifying relevant information and evidence.

We know that investigative mechanisms are complex and can take considerable time to deliver on their mandate. However, effective accountability demands it. In the meantime, we must focus on saving lives and reducing suffering by achieving an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and finding a diplomatic resolution to this conflict.

I thank you, Madame Chair.