Mr. President,

Switzerland contests the pretext under which today's meeting has been convened. Moreover, we consider that this meeting is detrimental to the effectiveness of the Council's work.

Russia's military aggression against Ukraine is a serious violation of international law. Switzerland condemns this act in the strongest possible terms.

The promotion of international humanitarian law and respect for all its rules is a constant feature of Swiss foreign policy. In particular, the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution must be imperatively respected in the conduct of hostilities by all parties and in all armed conflicts. The parties have an obligation to protect civilians and persons hors de combat. In this respect, we are appalled by the serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the course of this war.

We recall that Russia is not only at the origin of the military aggression against Ukraine, but that credible reports show that it is also responsible for the vast majority of violations of international humanitarian law during this conflict.

Mr. President,

With the adoption of a General Assembly resolution last February, over 140 countries reiterated their call on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory. More than 140 states spoke out in favor of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in favor of respect for international law, in particular the United Nations Charter.

They committed themselves to peace.

So that the search for a diplomatic solution can continue, we urge Russia - once again - to deescalate the situation, cease all hostilities and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory without delay.

I thank you.