Statement on the Russian Federations ongoing aggression against Ukraine

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 09 November 2023.

Mr Chair,

Today I would like to address three urgent issues which the Nordic countries also raised in the UN Security Council on October 31st:

Russia's disregard for international humanitarian law in their war of aggression against Ukraine, the intensifying humanitarian crisis as winter is approaching, and the overlooked need for mental health support in conflict zones.

Russia’s continued violations have caused immense suffering and disrupted aid, with attacks on civilians potentially amounting to war crimes. The targeted destruction of Ukrainian grain storage, along with the halting of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, risks exacerbating global food shortages and must be urgently addressed.

Norway calls for all parties to respect their obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. We are committed to ensure accountability for violations of international humanitarian law committed during Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Ensuring humanitarian access to all areas, including those under Russian occupation, is paramount — aid must reach all in need.

Mr Chair,

The humanitarian toll of the conflict is staggering; nearly half of Ukraine’s population needs assistance. Russia’s ongoing assault only deepens the crisis. The international community must support Ukraine's preparation for winter, as per UN OCHA’s plan.

Mental health needs, heightened by war's trauma, must be a priority. With millions at risk, including children and veterans, it's vital to integrate mental health and psychosocial support into humanitarian efforts, ensuring both individual recovery and national resilience. We applaud Canada as chair of the FSC to put this issue on the agenda of yesterday’s joint FSC/PC

Mr. Chair

Norway stands firm in our support for Ukraine, advocating for aid that aligns with humanitarian principles. We will continue to extend humanitarian support to Ukraine, for instance through substantial contributions to mine action. Norway has recently announced an additional allocation of funds to ensure Ukrainians have access to protection and life-saving assistance throughout the upcoming winter.

We seek a peaceful resolution based on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in line with international law, the Helsinki principles and the UN Charter. The Ukraine Peace Formula provides a framework for such a peace.

I thank you.