Mister President,

We thank Assistant Secretary-General Khiari for his briefing and welcome the participation of the representatives of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea in our deliberations. Once again, the Council is meeting because of a ballistic missile launch by the DPRK.

The development and operationalisation of increasingly dangerous nuclear delivery systems by the DPRK represents, together with its nuclear programme, a threat to the entire international community.

Switzerland condemns this fourth launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile this year. It takes place in a tense security situation and Switzerland is concerned about the risk of escalation inherent in such an act, which is often accompanied by inflammatory rhetoric. We recall the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons. Switzerland considers that the use of nuclear weapons can hardly be envisaged in compliance with the relevant rules of international law in general, and international humanitarian law in particular. We must step up our efforts in favour of non-proliferation, disarmament and maintaining the nuclear taboo. 

Faced with these repeated challenges, we must not waver in our collective duty. That is why this Council must assume its responsibilities. I would like to highlight three aspects:

Firstly, these launches are in violation of legally binding Security Council resolutions and therefore of international law. It is therefore our collective duty to condemn the DPRK's ballistic missile tests. Switzerland reiterates that the DPRK is obliged to implement its obligations under the resolutions of this Council and to take concrete steps to abandon its nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and related programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. We recall that while the obligations arising from the resolutions apply primarily to the DPRK, they also apply to all other States, which are required to implement the Security Council sanctions effectively.

Secondly, Switzerland stresses the importance of the efforts made by the Council to ensure that humanitarian aid remains possible and is not adversely affected by the sanctions. The unity of the Council that enabled the adoption of resolution 2664 is proof of our common objective in this respect. The heavy restrictions put in place by the DPRK in connection with the pandemic have seriously hampered international humanitarian aid since 2020. We hope they will soon be lifted. The needs of the people of the DPRK must not be forgotten and their human rights must be respected. For the development of the nuclear and military programmes only comes at the expense of serious human rights violations and a precarious humanitarian situation.

Thirdly, the Council and the United Nations as a whole have an important role to play in encouraging dialogue, de-escalation and the search for diplomatic solutions. There is a willingness to conduct and support dialogue with the DPRK. We welcome the call for the Secretary-General's good offices and encourage the DPRK to engage constructively with the Council and the UN system.

In two weeks’ time, we will commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Panmunjeom Armistice. Switzerland, which has been involved in its implementation since 1953 through the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in Korea, regrets that a more permanent solution has not yet been found on the Korean peninsula. For a political solution to be found, the Council needs to break its silence. Every call for dialogue should be based on a united position. We encourage all members to seek a consensus. Switzerland will support all efforts to achieve this unity.

Thank you.

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