Delivered by: Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator

Thank you, Madam President.

We also thank the Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Mr. Ebo, for his informative briefing, and I welcome Ukraine’s participation at today’s meeting.

The development of security and defense capabilities is integral to the right of self-defense. Engaging in such activities also comes with certain risks and responsibilities to mitigate those risks. For instance, poorly managed weapons stockpiles and supplies can be diverted to terrorist groups or other malign actors. It is critical to guard against such risks. We have seen how illicit weapons transfers to such groups were behind the proliferation of violence and numerous attacks against civilians and undermined the security and stability of many states. We underline, therefore, the importance of appropriate management of weapons during transfer, storage, and deployment.

The UN has worked with member states to support these efforts and establish international standards. For example, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs supports the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects – and its International Tracing Instrument. There are many other ongoing efforts to establish international norms with respect to the manufacture, trade, and storage of weapons. We are encouraged by the UN’s work to this end.

In addition to international cooperation and standards setting, constant, constant monitoring and oversight by national authorities is critical and requires the utmost attention. Additional risks may arise in situations of armed conflict, and it is vital that the relevant national authorities take all appropriate measures to mitigate such risks. Enhancing cooperation, including information exchange, and sharing of best practices can help reduce such risks.

Madam President,

Earlier this week we heard a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. It highlighted that civilians bear the costs of conflict.

To address these impacts, we call upon all parties to engage in diplomacy and dialogue. We strongly welcome the agreement to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative and commend the work of the UN and Türkiye in this regard. This shows how much more there is to be gained through peace and we stand ready to support genuine efforts towards dialogue to bring the war to a just, sustainable end consistent with the UN Charter.

Thank you, Madam President.