Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
I would like to thank Assistant Secretary-General Jenča for his valuable briefing and I welcome the participation of Ukraine in today’s meeting.
The United Arab Emirates is concerned by reports of civilian deaths and injuries following an attack in Donetsk on 7 November, and we offer our condolences to the families of all victims and wish a speedy recovery to all the injured.
We’re also concerned by the continued widespread damage to Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Since this war began, we have seen damage to hospitals, train stations, dams, and energy infrastructure, including nuclear power plants. This infrastructure provides vital services to the people of Ukraine and its damage places the civilian population at risk.
The provision of electricity and heating during the coming months will be critical for the health and safety of civilians. The civilian population should not bear the brunt of this conflict, and they must be protected.
On this, international humanitarian law is unequivocal: civilians and civilian objects must never be the target of attack, and the fundamental principles of proportionality and distinction must be respected.
We further recall international humanitarian law’s emphasis on the protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population and call on parties to the conflict to refrain from “attacking, destroying, removing or rendering useless objects that are indispensable to the survival of the civilian population”.
The law is clear, and we reiterate that compliance is not optional.
Around the world, we are confronted by the unacceptable consequences of war, as is the case in Gaza, where the scale of civilian suffering shocks the conscience. In such situations, the Security Council is being called upon to act. The maintenance of international peace and security requires all of us to do our utmost to find pathways forward, no matter how difficult.
The United Arab Emirates supports a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, in line with the UN Charter, that respects its sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
Thank you, Mr. President.