Delivered by: Shahad Matar, Spokesperson
Check against delivery.
First, I would like to thank the briefers for their detailed statements.
The war in Ukraine is approaching its second-year anniversary soon, without any sign of reaching a peaceful solution that would end the suffering of the Ukrainian people and put an end to the severe humanitarian crisis caused by this conflict.
The gravity of this situation is underscored by the internal displacement of more than 3.5 million people, with nearly 6 million seeking refuge abroad. These displaced individuals have endured significant suffering in their pursuit of safety and security.
This is in addition to the killing of thousands of people, the division of families, and the separation of children from their parents. More than 17 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.
We also regret that ongoing fighting has led to evacuations of civilians, including children, from areas including Donetsk.
The long-term repercussions of this conflict, especially on children, are also concerning: 3,800 educational facilities are damaged or destroyed, 5 million children have had their education disrupted, and only 30% of Ukraine’s children are attending schools full time in person. This means that an entire generation is at risk of losing its right to education. This jeopardizes the acquisition of skills and capabilities that would empower them to play active roles in building and developing their future communities.
The severe damage to basic infrastructure in Ukraine raises further concerns about the living conditions of civilians and their access to basic services, especially during the ongoing winter season.
We also recall the particular protection under international humanitarian law for medical and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities.
In this context, we regret that relief aid from a non-governmental organization was damaged during the attack that took place in Kherson on the 4th of December.
We are also concerned about the continued attacks on health facilities in Ukraine, especially near the front lines. More than half of the attacks that targeted health care facilities globally between 2022 and October 2023 occurred in Ukraine, according to the World Health Organization.
Although these numbers will rise when adding the number of attacks launched on health facilities in the Gaza Strip, this does not change the concerning reality of the situation in Ukraine. Therefore, it is important to demand that all conflicting parties around the world must comply with international humanitarian law, without any consideration for who violates these laws, against whom, or where.
The number of armed conflicts around the world has reached its peak. The suffering of civilians has exceeded what can be tolerated or contained. It has become increasingly urgent to intensify our international efforts to find a path to peace in Ukraine, and in other conflict-affected countries. Diplomacy, dialogue, and political solutions must remain as the primary and only option to resolve differences and permanently end the suffering of people.
Accordingly, the UAE urges all parties to work together to end the war and achieve peace and stands ready to support any serious efforts to this end. We look forward to the day when lasting security and stability is restored in Ukraine, in line with the United Nations Charter, aiming to preserve Ukraine’s unity, independence, and territorial integrity.
Thank you, Mr. President.