Thank you, Mr. President, 

And I would also like to thank the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs ad interim, Joyce Msuya, and Dr. Zhovnir for their statements. I also welcome the participation of Ukraine, the European Union and Poland. 

Mr. President,

We are shocked that a children's hospital – children’s hospital! –  where many suffer from serious illnesses and are in extremely vulnerable conditions, has been hit by a Russian strike. Missile strikes across Ukraine have killed and injured civilians in Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Povkrosk, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. The strikes reportedly killed dozens of civilians and hit Kyiv's largest children's hospital, as well as another medical facility in the capital. I would like to express our deepest condolences to all the families, the victims, the injured, the doctors and all those affected by these terrible strikes. Once again, children have become the victims of the military aggression that has been going on for 2 years and 5 months.

We strongly condemn these attacks. The civilian population and civilian infrastructure must not be targeted. International law, in particular human rights and humanitarian law, must be strictly respected in all circumstances and we call on Russia to comply and protect the civilian population and infrastructure. Under international humanitarian law, hospitals enjoy special protection.

The horror that children and their families have had to face since the start of the war in Ukraine shows no sign of abating. In 2023, the United Nations attributed 249 attacks on schools and hospitals, including against protected persons, to Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups. In the last two years, nearly 2,000 children are thought to have been killed or injured. Instead of going to school, children in towns on Ukraine's front lines have been forced to spend between 3,000 and 5,000 hours sheltering in basements and subway stations, or between four and seven months. As Ukraine fights for its peaceful future, those who will build it - including children - must be guaranteed protection: international humanitarian law provides special protection for children.

In addition, a health worker has also been killed in yesterday's strike. Here too, international humanitarian law is absolutely clear: protecting humanitarian personnel, including medical staff, is an obligation. Those who risk their lives to help others must be protected. 

Mr. President,

No child should grow up under the threat of missile fire. No child should die in the rubble of a hospital, which is supposed to be a safe place for healing and recovery. Every child should have the opportunity to lead a safe and serene life, and return to a normal existence. For this to be possible, Russia must end its military aggression against Ukraine, cease all hostilities and withdraw its troops from all Ukrainian territory. The Charter commits us all to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States.

Switzerland remains determined to do everything in its power to contribute to a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, in accordance with this same United Nations Charter and the fundamental principles of international law. It is in this spirit that on June 15 and 16, representatives of over one hundred countries from around the world and international organizations met in Switzerland to discuss a framework for a peace process based on international law, and in particular the UN Charter, with the aim of inspiring concrete measures in favor of a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. And we will continue this commitment.

Thank you.

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