Delivered by: Mohammed Bastaki, Counsellor

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I thank the Permanent Missions of Albania, France, and the United States for organizing this Arria-formula meeting. We listened carefully to the Commission of Inquiry’s briefing.

The UAE would like to restate its commitment to international humanitarian law and echo Secretary-General Guterres’ statement in the Security Council earlier this week, that “even war has rules”. The UAE therefore reiterates its call on all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to uphold international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The UAE remains deeply concerned by the continued fighting in Ukraine and the serious humanitarian situation it has created. Every day of this war that passes only increases the suffering of civilians and further deepens polarization and division, whose repercussions are felt across the globe, including in this very organization.

Achieving justice for victims and survivors, effectively fighting impunity, and deterring future atrocities requires properly instituted mechanisms and processes. Therefore, it is critical to ensure proper investigation of alleged crimes, focusing on fact-finding and data collection.

The international community collectively calls for such efforts. We emphasize the importance of stopping violations of both international humanitarian law and human rights law, because we believe all civilian lives are equally precious. This is particularly salient at this moment in light of the ongoing tragedy in Gaza and Israel’s imposition of collective punishment imposed upon Palestinians there. The same way we hear many Member States calling for respect of international law and criticizing violations of IHL in Ukraine, we hope to hear them speak equally forcefully on the need for Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of civilians in Gaza. Civilians and civilian objects must never be targeted.

Finally, while the conflict continues in Ukraine, we underline once more the importance of supporting all serious efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace in Ukraine in line with the UN Charter.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.