Delivered by: Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
I would like to join others in thanking Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo for her informative briefing, and I welcome Ukraine’s participation at today’s meeting.
Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, as you highlighted, the recent trend of military escalation and the threat of spillover is of huge concern. Both will only serve to cause greater suffering to civilians and create knock-on effects for regional and global stability.
You’ve also rightly underlined the importance of political and diplomatic efforts to set this conflict on the path to peace, and we urge all actors working towards that end to combine their efforts and to heed your call for the full respect of international humanitarian law throughout the duration of this conflict.
To this end, I want to make two points today.
First, we must continue to take meaningful steps towards a political resolution to this war.
In her recent visit to Kyiv, the UAE Special Envoy for Ukraine, Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, conveyed to President Zelenskyy our steadfast commitment to a just and peaceful outcome in Ukraine and our full support to their humanitarian needs.
We welcome, also, the efforts of the Africa Peace Initiative’s Presidential delegation, who recently visited both Kyiv and Moscow, and made a call for peace demonstrating global support for the stabilization of the world order.
While this conflict seems intractable, today we must engage in the practical steps necessary to alleviate human suffering and engage in trust-building exercises between the two countries.
The UAE is trying to do its part.
We continue to support prisoner-exchange initiatives.
We strongly support the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which remains vital for global food security, and we will support its full operationalization with practical measures.
And we encourage the full implementation of the MoU on Russian fertilizers and food products in the ongoing discussion.
Second, the humanitarian situation must remain our clear focus today and in the coming days and weeks ahead.
During her visit, Minister Almheiri had a direct and clear-eyed view of the dire humanitarian situation on the ground in Ukraine.
She underlined the UAE’s unwavering humanitarian support to all people affected by the conflict.
As such, the UAE is distributing 100 million US dollars of aid for Ukraine.
With 53% of energy facilities in the country impacted by the fighting, the UAE’s donation includes generators and LED lights for civilians.
We are also providing supplies for newborns and babies, as well as a grant of 4 million US dollars for programs supporting the welfare of orphaned children under the Olena Zelenska Foundation.
As the conflict prevents millions of children and students from attending classes, the UAE will also donate 2,500 laptops to those affected so that they can benefit from remote learning.
Children must remain the focus of our efforts and their rights should be upheld and protected at all costs.
The weight of war falls heaviest on children. We are dismayed by reports of violations against the children of Ukraine. All parties must meet their obligations for the protection of children caught up in this war. 530 have so far already lost their lives and their futures.
We stress once again the importance of humanitarian services reaching all those in need. The safety of humanitarians responding to the Kakhovka Dam flooding must be assured. All parties must comply with their obligations under international law, and we encourage all relevant actors to facilitate the life-saving work of humanitarian actors.
We are also acutely aware of the dark potential of a nuclear accident at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. This has been addressed numerous times in this Chamber and the name Chernobyl echoed with good reason.
We continue to monitor the situation closely and we welcome the continued efforts of the IAEA, including Director-General Grossi’s visit last week and the work of the IAEA teams on the ground, to avoid a nuclear accident that would have devastating and long lasting consequences for decades to come.
The UAE emphasizes the importance of the continued non-use of nuclear weapons. The world has avoided their use for the past 77 years. This must be maintained. Nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and destabilizing and undermines efforts to forge peace.
We must all see this as a collective red line.
Ultimately, de-escalation, diplomacy, and dialogue are the only way forward.
None of us could have imagined in March 2022 during the first UAE presidency, when the conflict had just started, that we would continue to see such significant escalation almost a year later. We urge the international community to redouble all efforts to ensure that future generations are not scarred by the failure to maintain international peace and security on our watch.
The UAE will continue its humanitarian work and its support for all mediation efforts in the meantime. We stand ready to assist genuine efforts to bring the war to a just, sustainable end, in line with the UN Charter.