Madam President,

Switzerland thanks Ms. Wosornu for her statement and expresses its appreciation for the indispensable work of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). We welcome His Excellency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, as well as the representatives of Azerbaijan, Türkiye, and of the European Union.

Switzerland supports a peaceful settlement of the differences between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and commends the efforts made by the parties and several diplomatic players in this respect. We regret the renewed tension over the last few months. In this context, we are deeply concerned by the increasing deterioration of the humanitarian situation following the restrictions on access through the Lachin corridor. Women, men and children are finding themselves in an increasingly difficult position, faced with a shortage of medicines and products essential to their survival. Restrictions on access have a profound impact on the most vulnerable, especially children, the sick, the elderly, people with disabilities and pregnant women. This situation is untenable and must be resolved without delay.

It is vital to restore the free passage of civilians and essential goods. We call on the parties to respect the commitments they have taken, notably in the trilateral declaration of November 2020. The International Court of Justice has requested that Azerbaijan take all measures at its disposal to ensure the unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin corridor, in both directions. We call for compliance with the Court's decisions.

In addition, the parties must take urgent steps to facilitate safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to civilians in need, as required by international humanitarian law. We join the ICRC in calling on the parties to find a "humanitarian consensus" to ensure that impartial humanitarian aid reaches those who depend on it. The ICRC must be able to resume its humanitarian operations in the region without hindrance.

Madam President,

We recognize the diplomatic efforts undertaken to achieve a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The pursuit of constructive dialogue and the implementation of agreements on the ground, based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as on the protection of minority rights, remain fundamental to building confidence for a long-term solution. We call on the parties to take de-escalation measures and intensify their efforts to normalize relations and reach a peace treaty. Switzerland remains ready to promote these efforts through its good offices, if both parties so wish.

As a Council, we must do everything in our power to support efforts to resolve the remaining disputes peacefully and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe from developing.

I thank you.