Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative
I would like to begin by thanking Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo for her updates.
Having just concluded this year’s high-level week of the General Assembly, a resounding message we heard from many world leaders remains at the forefront of our minds: the world wants peace in Ukraine. It seems, however, that we are moving further away from this common objective of peace and stability. The referendums that are now underway further complicate efforts for a peaceful resolution to this conflict. In order to be credible and sustainable, any processes that aim to bring us closer to peace must be inclusive, and any actions that undermine the prospects for constructive dialogue must be avoided by all parties.
We reemphasize the need to respect the principles of territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence, which are core to the UN Charter and central to constructive relations between States. These principles protect all States equally, whether large or small, and collectively we must not allow their erosion. In pursuit of peace, this Council has an essential role in preserving these principles, prioritizing the peaceful settlement of disputes, and maintaining international peace and security. We recall here the January 2022 joint statement of the permanent members of this Council affirming that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.
Over the past few months, we have seen incremental movement between the parties that has led to tangible, positive outcomes on concrete issues. We commend the United Nations and others that have facilitated constructive engagement in this regard. Most recently, the fruits of these efforts have included prisoner exchanges, conducted with the assistance of Türkiye and Saudi Arabia, and agreements related to the export of grains and fertilizer, which have helped to alleviate pressure on global food supplies and prices. There is further potential to build on these agreements. Moreover, the direct engagement that brought them to fruition can help diffuse tensions and open a pathway for conflict resolution. To this end, the parties must be supported in moving toward dialogue and away from further escalation. We once again underline the necessity of all parties abiding by their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law.
The war has carried on for over seven months with no sign of abating. During this time, nearly fourteen and a half million people were forced to flee their homes, with more than seven million of them now displaced across Europe. Humanitarian costs have been immense with more than seventeen million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
It is long past time for this conflict to come to an end. For that to happen, we continue to emphasize the importance of an immediate cessation of hostilities throughout Ukraine. Additionally, it is essential to build on and amplify positive developments between the parties, so we can begin to pull back from this dangerous point of heightened global tensions. What we need now is to secure a peace that is sustainable, and in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.
Thank you, Mr. President.