Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative, and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.

Mr. President,

I’d like to thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo for her informative briefing and express my appreciation to you, Foreign Secretary Cleverly, for presiding over this meeting. I also welcome the other distinguished ministers and high-level representatives who have joined us today.

The toll that the war in Ukraine is exacting on civilians is enormous. Further afield, the consequences of conflict have reverberated across the globe.

Since the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the Memorandum of Understanding on the export of Russian fertilizers and food products were agreed almost one year ago, they have had significant impact globally. 

The shift in the price of grain following the announcement of the Initiative’s termination this morning reflects its importance.

The UAE regrets that the agreement will not continue and Ukrainian food items will struggle to reach those who depend on them.

Though this remains a political decision, it is the most vulnerable who are now forced to grapple with the very real consequences of the decision. 

The Initiative is one of the few positives that have emerged in the context of this conflict. These agreements were born out of a resolute commitment to dialogue, and it is our hope that dialogue will prevail among the parties.

Mr. President,

The world has witnessed more than 500 days of suffering since the beginning of the war.

It is difficult to convey the true cost of this conflict. One can speak of the millions who have been displaced, the tens of thousands killed and injured, and the impossible situation faced by those living amidst the shifting frontlines. One can speak of the destruction wrought by the war and the long journey towards reconstruction that awaits Ukraine. One can also speak of the intangible impacts – the broken families, the uprooted communities, and the traumatized children. All will last long after the last bullet is fired.

Since the outbreak of war, the World Health Organization has recorded more than 1,000 attacks on health care in Ukraine, including on medical facilities, personnel, and their means of transport. We reiterate our call on the parties to respect their obligations under international law. We underline the demand made by this Council in Resolution 2286, that all parties to armed conflict ensure the respect and protection of all medical personnel, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities.

In the last week alone, there have been two instances of humanitarian aid workers coming under fire in Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia. We urge all relevant authorities to facilitate the lifesaving work of humanitarian organizations. This is especially important at a time when humanitarian needs remain significant, and civilians are facing continued interruptions to power supplies across the country.

For its part, the UAE is distributing 100 million US dollars of aid for Ukraine, including the provision of generators and LED lights for civilians, supplies for babies, as well as a grant of 4 million US dollars for programs supporting the welfare of orphaned children under the Olena Zelenska Foundation. The UAE will continue its humanitarian efforts to help alleviate suffering on the ground. 

Mr. President,

Today’s announcement is disappointing, but it should not dissuade our collective efforts to bring the war to an end.

The United Arab Emirates will continue to call for this and support all genuine efforts to mitigate the war’s consequences.

De-escalation and dialogue are necessary to achieve a sustainable and just peace, a peace that is in line with the UN Charter and respects Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.

Thank you, Mr. President.