Delivered by His Excellency Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative
Please Check Against Delivery.
I would like to begin by thanking Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo and Resident Coordinator Denise Brown for their briefings.
As we heard today, a significant percentage of critical civilian infrastructure, including power stations and water supply infrastructure, has either been damaged or destroyed.
In just one week, a third of Ukraine’s power stations are reported to have been knocked off the electricity grid at a critical time, leaving people without gas for cooking and heating with winter approaching. As the war continues, Ukrainians’ needs for humanitarian aid are compounded further.
The international community must step up its support to alleviate the suffering of civilians and ensure that their basic needs are covered. To this end, the UAE announced 100 million USD in humanitarian aid to Ukraine earlier this week. However, other parts of the world cannot be neglected. We must ensure that those most in need globally do not become an afterthought.
Access remains a major hurdle for humanitarian organizations, particularly in the areas witnessing the most intense fighting in eastern Ukraine. Those unable to escape the fighting, such as people with disabilities, the elderly, and the sick, have become vulnerable to shifting battle lines. We commend the efforts of humanitarian organizations in this context and urge cooperation by the parties to resolve all impediments to access.
We once again reiterate our call on parties to abide by their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, including energy infrastructure. Civilian objects must never be a target of attack.
Despite the deeply concerning developments in the conflict, we have seen some movement between the parties that has led to tangible, positive outcomes on concrete issues. While momentum towards broader negotiations is still lacking, prisoner exchanges, including the exchange announced earlier this week, show the potential for positive outcomes.
The agreements to facilitate the export of food and fertilizers were significant and positive steps that contributed to a decline in the index for global food prices. Nevertheless, the full implementation, expansion, and extension of the agreements remains critical to address global food insecurity.
Compromise, diplomacy, and dialogue remain the only way forward to prevent further suffering. We commend the United Nations and others who have worked to facilitate constructive engagement between the parties.
The world wants peace in Ukraine – a peace that is sustainable and in accordance with the UN Charter and international law. There is no alternative to a cessation of hostilities throughout Ukraine and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Thank you, Mr. President.