Delivered by: Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator
I would like to thank Mr. Gregorian for his informative briefing, and we listened carefully to Mr. Chaulin.
Eighteen months into the war, there is no sign of it abating. We reiterate our deep concern with the continuing conflict and its impacts on civilians, including those in different regions of the world.
The dynamics of the war are perpetuating a dangerously escalating cycle with potentially severe repercussions for geopolitical stability, civilian lives and livelihoods, and the environment. The tragedy of Kakhovka Dam and the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are just two reminders of this precariousness.
These are among the reasons we continue to call for hostilities to end, but as long as they continue, they must be carried out with full respect for international humanitarian law. We reiterate our call on all parties to abide by their obligations under international law.
We stress in this regard that civilian objects must never be a target of attack. We also recall international humanitarian law’s clear prohibition of acts whose primary purpose is to spread terror amongst the civilian population.
Throughout this conflict, there have been efforts to help bring it to a conclusion and to mitigate its impact on people in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world. We encourage and commend the endeavors of the Secretary-General and many world leaders to this end.
This diplomacy has contributed to several humanitarian initiatives, including prisoner of war exchanges, and most notably, the Black Sea Grain Initiative and MoU on Russian fertilizers and food products. We encourage all relevant actors to engage with a pragmatic and constructive spirit, such as that which led to the Black Sea Grain Initiative and MoU on Russian fertilizers and food products a year ago in Istanbul. This engagement could again mitigate the impacts of the conflict, and eventually end the conflict itself.
It is time to redouble efforts to achieve a just, sustainable peace in Ukraine, in line with the UN Charter, and which respects Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
Finally, as this is the last meeting of the Council for July, I would like to conclude by congratulating the United Kingdom for its presidency this month. We look forward to supporting the United States during its presidency in August.