Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative and Chargé d’Affaires
At the outset, I would like to thank Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo for her informative briefing. I also welcome the participation of Ukraine in this meeting.
More than five months into the war, UN figures reveal a staggering humanitarian crisis: nearly 16 million people need assistance and over 12 million have been forcibly displaced – including, approximately two-thirds of Ukraine’s children. As the battlefield expands, a growing number of people whose movement is limited due to age, illness, or disability are caught in the midst of the heaviest fighting. The war’s devastating toll continues to be felt outside Ukraine, as it exacerbates food shortages and commodity prices increases threatening the lives and livelihoods of people around the world.
Against this difficult backdrop, we would like to stress three key points:
First, the protection of civilians remains paramount. Recent fighting in urban areas risks homes, schools, and hospitals with damage and destruction. The last several weeks witnessed numerous examples of the destruction of civilian infrastructure, often with heavy reported civilian casualties. There are increasingly worrying reports that this trend will escalate. Parties must heed their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and refrain from targeting civilians and civilian objects, and avoid placing military objectives in or near civilian areas.
Second, the war’s impact on global food security only adds to the urgency of confidence-building measures that could pave the path towards broader agreements. In this context, while we welcome the deal agreed in Istanbul on exports of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers– and praise the invaluable role of the UN Secretary-General and the Republic of Türkiye – we are disappointed that the Security Council could not unify behind an endorsement of the deal. Unfortunately, positive developments in this conflict have been exceedingly rare. Therefore, it is all the more critical that when progress does happen, this body finds a way to respond with a single voice. For its part, the UAE believes that the agreement is a step in the right direction. But the measure of its success, will be its full implementation, and its utilization for further constructive international engagement, including by the UN.
Third, this crisis has put this institution and its Charter under strain. While the prospects of meaningful Security Council action on Ukraine appear limited, it remains crucial that we defend the principles of the Charter – and seize every opportunity to bring about a peaceful resolution. It is also critical that we recognise that upholding the UN Charter means ensuring that the Council continues its work to fulfil its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, in Ukraine, and on every file on the agenda.
Mr. President, as we have said before, only an end to the war will put a stop to the devastation it has wrought. This means a negotiated resolution that produces a sustainable peace – and as we have frequently said, achieving that requires women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in all peace efforts. It is essential that women’s leadership and involvement not only take place at the end of the conflict, but also in the design and implementation of conflict resolution processes. As the fighting unfortunately continues, the parties, and the international community, must work to limit the suffering inflicted in Ukraine, and the ramifications beyond. Still, we know that important progress can be made through dedicated and pragmatic diplomacy. It is vital that we encourage, nurture, and facilitate dialogue and de-escalation when and wherever possible.