Mr. President,

We also thank Deputy Secretary General Miroslav Jenča for his presentation. The second launch of an intercontinental-range ballistic missile this year is a sad illustration of the escalating security tensions in the region.

Switzerland reiterates: The nuclear program of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a threat to the entire international community. The catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons must prompt us to redouble our efforts in favour of non-proliferation, disarmament and the maintenance of the nuclear taboo.

It is therefore with concern that Switzerland has followed the increase in ballistic missile launches, but also cruise missile tests, by the DPRK, which is developing increasingly dangerous and numerous nuclear delivery systems.

We are meeting again today in circumstances similar to last month and exchanging similar words. However, this meeting and our discussion remain important - because we cannot ignore our duty and responsibilities in the following areas:

First, in the area of nuclear nonproliferation, it is our collective duty to condemn the DPRK's ballistic missile tests. These launches are in violation of Security Council resolutions and thus of international law. Switzerland once again 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 also call upon the DPRK, together 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 apply primarily to the DPRK, they also apply to all states, which are required to ensure and enforce effective implementation of the relevant Security Council sanctions.

Secondly, in the area of sanctions implementation, Switzerland welcomes the Council's attention to ensuring that humanitarian assistance remains possible. The Council has demonstrated its commitment and unity by adopting resolution 2664 (2022), which must be implemented. The 1718 Committee plays an essential 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 severe pandemic-related restrictions on international humanitarian assistance are lifted by the DPRK, such humanitarian assistance can resume quickly.

Third, this Council has a role to play in encouraging dialogue, de-escalation and the search for diplomatic solutions. Its prolonged silence causes concern and prevents it from acting as a political actor on the Korean peninsula. Yet, as we have seen once again in previous speeches, there is a collective and individual will to conduct and support a dialogue with the DPRK. We welcome the calls for the Secretary-General's good offices and encourage the DPRK to engage with the Council and the UN system in a constructive manner.

This call for dialogue should be based on a united position of this Council, and Switzerland will support all efforts to achieve this unity. The option of a presidential statement seems to us to be a way to achieve this and we encourage all members in their search for consensus.

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