USG Di Carlo, thank you for your very useful briefing.
Yesterday the Russian army inflicted massive waves of missile strikes on Ukraine. With civilians being killed. And in Poland we saw an explosion resulting in the tragic loss of Polish lives. We are in close contact with our allies and partners on the matter and support the ongoing investigation.
What we do know, however, is that this would not have happened if it was not for Russia’s attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. One only needs to look to Kherson to see further evidence of their brutal campaign against civilians. We see in the wake of Russia’s forced retreat, atrocities, and destruction. They did what they could to make the situation as difficult as possible for the civilian population destroying water, heat, and electricity supplies. And they continue these tactics across the country.
With winter approaching, the number of casualties and displaced persons could accelerate. Children, the elderly, and other people in highly vulnerable situations are particularly at risk.
We call for safe, rapid, and unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations to all people in need - including access to prisoners of war.
We commend the UN, International Committee of the Red Cross, and other humanitarian organisations for staying and delivering a principled humanitarian response under very challenging circumstances. And also the courageous and committed Ukrainian responders.
We reiterate also our demand that all civilians must be protected. International humanitarian law, and international human rights law, must be fully respected and implemented. International law applies to all nations. It is not optional.
The suffering and the atrocities committed by Russian armed forces, have shocked the whole world. The consequences are felt globally: Russia’s war of aggression is causing a refugee tragedy with a regional impact, it is destabilizing financial markets, supply chains, and disrupting global energy security.
The world's most vulnerable people and countries depend on a steady supply of food from Ukraine and Russia to global markets. It is essential to keep a transportation line open for the export of grain, related foodstuffs, and fertilizers - including ammonia.
Considering the dire global consequences, we trust the parties will stay committed to the Black Sea Grain Deal, and that these lifesaving shipments will continue.
Russia’s war of aggression demonstrates their disregard for the core principles of our organisation, and the suffering of millions of people in the wake of this war. As members of the Security Council, it is our duty to set a different course. As the Secretary-General has emphasised, we have the values and principles necessary to chart this course: they are clearly enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
When the time comes, we will stand firmly with the Secretary-General in efforts to build and sustain peace in Ukraine.
We will work actively to ensure that this Council remains vigilant of the situation in Ukraine and able to address the host of other conflicts on its agenda.
Let me end by repeating something we have said numerous times before, and yet, it cannot be said often enough: Through its aggression and actions, the Russian Federation is acting with blatant disregard to international law.
Russia must immediately heed the ruling of the ICJ, and the calls of these United Nations, to suspend its military operations within Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders and stop the senseless bloodshed and global suffering.