Madam President, 

I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo for her intervention and for all her efforts.  

A few weeks ago, the Secretary-General of the United Nations reminded us that international humanitarian law makes all the difference between life and death, between restraint and anarchy. I regret that since then, the truth of these words has sadly been confirmed once again in Ukraine, in the context of Russian military aggression. 

In recent weeks, continuous Russian missile attacks have again hit residential areas in several Ukrainian cities. I repeat that civilian lives and infrastructure must be protected. Switzerland condemns all indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. Their perpetrators must be brought to justice. 

In addition to the protection afforded to civilian property, works and installations containing dangerous forces benefit from special protection. Switzerland is thus deeply concerned by the humanitarian, ecological and economic consequences of the flooding caused by the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam. The lack of drinking water is compounded by a multitude of other challenges, including the risk posed by mines and explosive remnants of war displaced by the water, complicating the delivery of humanitarian aid and humanitarian demining. We welcome the tireless efforts of humanitarian actors, including the UN, the ICRC, and local actors, to help all those affected. We urge the Russian government to act in accordance with its obligations under international humanitarian law, and to allow and facilitate safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to Ukrainian territories currently under its control. 

The destruction of the dam illustrates the risks that continued Russian military aggression poses to infrastructure, with disastrous consequences for the civilian population. It also increases the risk of further escalation, including a nuclear incident. Switzerland welcomes the IAEA's continued commitment to protecting the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and the other nuclear facilities in Ukraine. We reaffirm our practical, financial and political support for the IAEA's work. We call on Russia and Ukraine to comply strictly with international humanitarian law protecting civilian objects as well as works and installations containing dangerous forces, and to commit to the five principles established by the IAEA. 

Madam President,

While our attention is focused on the immediate challenges, we must also think of the future, maintain hope. Switzerland welcomes the solidarity expressed at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London this week. With this cycle of conferences we are determined to offer better prospects to the Ukrainian people. It is essential that reconstruction takes place in a participatory and transparent manner, as underlined by the Lugano Principles. In parallel with this show of support, Switzerland is closely following the various undertakings aimed at advancing peace in Ukraine. For us, compliance with the principles of the UN Charter is the basic requirement in these considerations. The Black Sea Initiative has shown that the involvement of third-party actors with all parties can help mitigate the negative effects of war. We must build on and develop this achievement. We regret that the trend is moving in the opposite direction, and call on the parties to redouble their efforts to find a lasting solution. Switzerland is always ready to offer its good offices if the parties so desire. 

Madam President,

Respect for international law is the only way to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine. I therefore reiterate today our appeal to Russia to cease all hostilities and to withdraw all its troops from Ukrainian territory without delay. 

I thank you.


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