Delivered by: Ameirah AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative and Acting Chargé d’Affaires
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First, I thank Ms. Nakamitsu for her valuable briefing, and I welcome the participation of the representative of Ukraine in this meeting.
Today, I renew the UAE’s firm call to the parties in Ukraine to make more proactive efforts in order to prevent the diversion of arms into the hands of terrorists or criminal groups during the storage, transportation, and distribution of arms and ammunition.
In this context, we affirm our support for the endeavors of the United Nations, in partnership with Member States, to establish standards aimed at preventing, combating, and eradicating the “illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, in all its aspects”. This can be achieved through the Program of Action and the “International Tracing Instrument”, which serves as one of the valuable UN initiatives to address these dangers and mitigate their severity.
Given that the primary responsibility for preventing the diversion of arms – particularly in conflict situations – rests with the national authorities, we encourage them to undertake all necessary steps to avoid any unforeseen consequences.
In this context, we also stress the importance of adhering to the requirements outlined in international law, including international humanitarian law. These provisions apply to all Member States, irrespective of the origin of the weaponry.
Accordingly, the UAE calls on the parties to the conflict in Ukraine to fully abide by international law, including international humanitarian law, and to make all efforts to ensure the protection of civilians and the items necessary for their survival. Furthermore, they must respect the basic principles of necessity, proportionality, and discrimination.
The UAE expresses its profound concern regarding the dire consequences of the war on civilians and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. More than one thousand attacks have affected the health care sector in the country, averaging two attacks per day. Last week, shrapnel from missiles struck a children’s hospital in the capital city, Kiev.
Reports have also indicated that this war results in the death or injury of three children every day. Additionally, nearly one thousand educational institutions have been subjected to damage and destruction as a result of the continued fighting. This confirms that the most important demand, beyond fulfilling the legal and moral obligations regarding the protection of civilians and the alleviation of their suffering, is to end the war in line with international law, the United Nations Charter, and the principles of sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
The UAE stands fully prepared to work with all partners around the world to forge a sincere path towards achieving a just and sustainable peace in Ukraine.
Thank you, Mr. President.