I thank you USG DiCarlo for shedding further light on the situation in Ukraine, and the continued attacks against civilians by Russian forces. I welcome also the strong testimony of President Zelenskyy on behalf of the people of Ukraine.
First; Norway reiterates that Russia’s war is in and of itself a violation of international law. The principles of the UN Charter are clear on the illegality of the acquisition of territory by force. We reiterate our call for Russia to stop its illegal attack on Ukraine immediately.
Second; Norway unequivocally condemns all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. We condemn in the strongest terms the reported killing of Ukrainian civilians and we call on Russia to immediately end the indiscriminate, and deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.
The targeting of residential areas - such as the devastating missile attack against a shopping centre in Kremenchuk yesterday - is unacceptable. The urban warfare and intensified Russian missile attacks against Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities is causing immense civilian suffering.
We reiterate our demand, and the demand of international law, that the civilian population must be protected and that all necessary measures be taken to avoid civilian casualties. International humanitarian law must be fully respected and implemented.
We condemn Belarus for facilitating Russia's attack on Ukraine.
Third; violations of international law cannot go unchallenged. All violations need to be investigated, and perpetrators of any crimes must be brought to justice. We support the investigations by the ICC, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, and other international investigations.
As the war in Ukraine continues, it is inflicting a terrible, cumulative, harm on the civilian population, undermining prospects for peace and security.
The protection of civilians and human rights is a prerequisite for sustainable peace after conflict.
In Ukraine, the best way to protect civilians is clear: It is for to Russia to end its war.