Delivered by: H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
At the outset, I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his opening remarks and Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo for her valuable briefing. I want to also express our gratitude to the Secretary-General and his team for effective use of his good offices. As the Secretary-General said in Odessa, the ships that left Ukrainian ports over the last month carrying grain are indeed “vessels of hope.” I also thank President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine for his briefing, and I would like to join my colleagues in congratulating President Zelenskyy and all Ukrainians for their country’s Independence Day.
Today, we mark six months since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, and it is difficult to overstate the toll it has had: the dead, the injured, for those remaining in the country, and those forced to flee. A staggering one third of Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes, and 6.6 million have sought refuge across Europe.
Beyond Ukraine’s borders, the conflict has exacerbated food insecurity and the rise in commodity prices, both of which add to the daily hardship suffered by hundreds of millions of people around the world. The UAE strongly applauds the agreements brokered with the support of the Secretary-General and the Republic of Türkiye to facilitate the export of grain, food supplies, and fertilizers to global markets. This rare example of tangible progress cannot, however, be the last. It must incentivize more concerted efforts to mitigate the impact of this conflict on the lives of those most in need, and hopefully ensure that we are not here six months from now marking a year of conflict and further global disruption.
The UN Charter provides a repertoire of tools to address the peaceful settlement of disputes – none of which are applicable in the absence of the political will to use them. In turn, this requires us – all of us –to recognize that the war will only end through a negotiated settlement and that all wars must eventually end as they have done countless times in human history. There is value in the Council’s meetings on Ukraine when they are complemented with action laser-focused on alleviating the suffering of civilians and finding a political path to this war’s end. We cannot change the past, but what happens next is a responsibility we all share.
In the last few weeks, we have seen signs of progress, particularly the agreements on agricultural exports. We have also taken positive note of the parties’ expressed support for the IAEA to send a mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and we urgently reiterate that this must happen. As the Secretary-General has said, the warning lights are flashing, and failure to act could be grave. These initiatives all have the potential as confidence-building measures that could unlock broader political discussions, and we need to work hard to preserve and expand these windows towards viable diplomatic initiatives aimed at de-escalation and resolution.
A peaceful, sustainable resolution relies ultimately on the UN Charter and international law as our guiding principles. Six months in, our call for a cessation of hostilities throughout Ukraine is as relevant as it has ever been. We cannot become inured to this war. The stakes are too high; every life is too precious. The conflict should end now, and we need to see leaders from both sides commit to charting that difficult path forward with all of our support.
Thank you, Mr. President.