Check against delivery.

At the outset I would like to thank Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs; Mr. Raouf Mazou, Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization, for their valuable briefings.

What we have heard today reflects the serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. The number of refugees is increasing at an alarming rate. Civilians throughout Ukraine continue to suffer due to the obstacles hindering the delivery of humanitarian assistance, such as food, medical equipment, and other basic needs. At the same time, damage to civilian infrastructure continues to worsen the humanitarian situation in major Ukrainian cities, such as Mariupol. In this context, my country would like to focus on four main points.

First, we remain hopeful about the ongoing negotiations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. We hope that these negotiations will pave the way for calm to allow humanitarian organizations to carry out their role and meet the needs of civilians. There is an urgent need to take concrete steps aimed at de-escalating the situation on the ground and building trust between the parties, to enable humanitarian organizations to deliver aid safely to those in need and allow safe and unhindered passage for civilians fleeing the conflict.

Second, my country appreciates the critical role of neighboring countries, especially Poland, Romania, and Moldova, in responding to the humanitarian crisis by receiving refugees and expanding social safety networks to meet their needs. At the same time, and drawing from our experiences in the Middle East, we recognize the need to support these countries. For instance, providing care to refugees, especially as the continuation of the current conflict entails continued waves of displacement, will be essential.

Third, in parallel to the ongoing rounds of negotiations, my country stresses the importance of adhering to international law, in particular international humanitarian law. Violating international law not only represents a threat to the rights of civilians, but it is also a threat to the entire international order. In this regard, we reiterate our call for all concerned parties to respect their international obligations and to stop targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure.

In conclusion, the UAE believes that the Council’s response to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the conflict in Ukraine should focus on humanitarian action in a concrete and productive manner, in coordination with OCHA and other relevant humanitarian actors. We reaffirm that a solution to the crisis can only be achieved through intensifying diplomatic efforts, immediately ceasing hostilities throughout Ukraine, and seeking a sustainable peace that preserves Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, in addition to enhancing regional and international security and stability.