Thank you, Madam President.

Mr. Secretary -General, "Our organization was founded on the pursuit of peace; peace is our raison d'être". Allow me, Mr. Secretary-General, to use today the same words that you addressed to the United Nations General Assembly earlier this month. "Peace; peace is our raison d'être ! ". Switzerland deeply shares this vision. The slogan of our candidacy for the Security Council reflects this: "A Plus for Peace".

This "plus" also symbolizes the white cross at the center of our red flag, embodying our constant commitment to building and maintaining peace in the world. Unfortunately, over the past two years, the Security Council has not fully lived up to its responsibility in ensuring peace and security for Ukraine and its people. We have tirelessly appealed...

- for peace,

- for respect for international humanitarian law, and

- for redoubled efforts to bring this conflict to an end.

And today? Today, thousands of people have lost their lives, millions have been displaced and countless families have been torn apart. The consequences, both in Europe and around the world, are now evident in terms of food, energy, security and so forth. So, dear colleagues: what can we do? And what are we doing? What are we doing to ensure that:

- the Charter of the United Nations is respected?

- the Geneva Conventions are no longer violated?

- humanity in war is guaranteed?

- and peace is restored?

One thing is certain: despite all the frustration caused by this war, indeed by all wars, we must not give in to pessimism. Instead, we must analyze the facts and act on them to find any path to peace. In the light of our history as "nations... united".

Madam President, Excellencies, In this room, we are the guardians of peace. We bear - together - the responsibility for this ideal that was decided upon three quarters of a century ago. Together, we must take the first step along this path, for the cause of peace is too great to allow our differences to stand in our way. Last January, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos and at Ukraine's request, Switzerland expressed its commitment to organizing a "High-Level Conference for Peace in Ukraine". We are fully aware of the complexity of this mission, the sinuosity of the path and the uncertainty of the horizon. But we are working tirelessly to create a momentum that is both pragmatic and inclusive. Indeed, I am convinced that we must listen to everyone to understand the grammars of peace of some ... and others. And the uncertain horizon will become increasingly certain, thanks to a broad alliance of all regions of the world. And the sinuous road ahead will be less sinuous, if we avoid the pitfalls of the rhetoric that fuels opposition. Ladies and Gentlemen, I invite you to take this first step. To stand up and walk together towards peace. Of course, Switzerland is neither the first nor the only country to take action. Other countries are also committed. I welcome their initiatives.

But the clock is ticking. Let us unite our efforts to come together before the summer: we are ready to devote all our energy to it. Even if the request comes from only one party, Ukraine, and my country condemns Russia’s military aggression, it is our collective effort that is being called for today. Peace is our raison d'être in this room. A High-level Conference for Peace in Ukraine is a first step: insufficient in itself, but indispensable as a starting point. I'm convinced that other nations will also be able to take up the baton! Now is the time to start with pragmatism and realism:

- pragmatism, to find the common denominator of our nations ;

- realism, to find a way to eventually take Ukraine and Russia on this path.

To pave the way for peace tomorrow ... I hope I can count on you today! Our raison d'être depends on it.

Thank you very much.

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