Madam President,

We thank Assistant-Secretary-General Khaled Khiari for his presentation. The launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles and the remarks of the Vice Chairwoman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea are particularly disturbing developments that are further inciting the escalating rhetoric and security tensions in the region.

The steady pace of North Korea's nuclear program and its impact on nonproliferation and international security are a threat to the entire international community. The catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons should incite us to redouble our efforts to promote nonproliferation, disarmament and the maintenance of the nuclear taboo. It is in the interest of humanity that nuclear weapons are not used under any circumstances. We welcome the P5's reminder that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, reaffirmed by Director Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference.

Switzerland has followed with concern the increasing number of ballistic missile launches by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in recent months that thus develops an increasing number of nuclear delivery systems.

It is important that the Council is meeting today on this issue. We refute any characterization of our meetings and deliberations as a provocation to the DPRK. We cannot ignore our duty and responsibilities that fall into the following areas:

First, in the area of nuclear nonproliferation, we consider it our collective duty to condemn the DPRK's ballistic missile tests. These launches are in violation of the resolutions of this Council and thus of international law.

Switzerland urges the DPRK to implement its obligations under the Council's resolutions and to take concrete steps to abandon its nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and related programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. We call upon the DPRK to return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state and to resume implementation of the safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as soon as possible. We also call upon the DPRK, along with all other Annex 2 states, to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

We recall that while the obligations under the resolutions fall primarily to the DPRK, they also apply to all states insofar as they are required to ensure and enforce effective implementation of the relevant Security Council sanctions.

Second, in the area of sanctions implementation, Switzerland welcomes the Council's increasing attention to ensuring that humanitarian action remains possible. The Council demonstrated its commitment and unity two months ago by adopting resolution 2664, which must be implemented. The 1718 Committee plays a key role in facilitating humanitarian assistance through a system of exemptions. This mechanism is now complemented by a humanitarian exemption applicable to all sanctions regimes. We therefore hope that once the heavy restrictions on international humanitarian support due to the pandemic are lifted by the DPRK, humanitarian support can resume quickly.

Third, this Council has a role to play in encouraging dialogue, de-escalation and the search for diplomatic solutions. At present, its prolonged silence not only causes concern, but also prevents political action on the Korean Peninsula. Yet, as we have all heard in previous statements, the collective and individual will to conduct and support a dialogue with the DPRK exists. We encourage the DPRK to engage with the Council in a constructive manner. This call for dialogue would be stronger if it were articulated around a united position.

Switzerland will therefore support all efforts to achieve this unity of the Council, which must keep its initial ambitions and fully assume its role.

Thank you very much.