Madam President,

We thank Assistant Secretary-General Khiari for his presentation and welcome the participation of the representatives of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea in our deliberations. 

Switzerland has observed with great concern the DPRK's second attempt to launch a military observation satellite using ballistic missile technology. We therefore welcome this meeting. The Council must not remain passive in the face of these tests which, together with the DPRK's nuclear programme, constitute a threat to international peace and security.

Allow me to emphasise three points: 

Firstly, Switzerland condemns any launch using ballistic missile technology as a violation of the resolutions of this Council. As mentioned during our meeting at the beginning of June, the questions of the rocket payload or prior warning are not decisive in this situation. This launch therefore constitutes a violation of international law. In the face of this, it is our duty as members of this Council to condemn it and respond to it. We reiterate our call on the DPRK to renounce any future attempts to launch ballistic missiles. 

Secondly, while the obligations arising from the resolutions apply first and foremost to the DPRK, they also apply to all States, which are required to effectively implement the sanctions of the Security Council. Furthermore, as members of this Council and as States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, we all have an obligation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The attempt to publicly legitimise the development of the DPRK's nuclear programme requires our continued vigilance and we must commit ourselves to disarmament and to maintaining the nuclear taboo. 

Thirdly, we must not forget the suffering of the people of the DPRK. The serious and systematic violations of human rights and the impunity of the perpetrators must cease. We welcome the first signs of a relaxation of the heavy restrictions put in place by the DPRK in connection with the pandemic. These restrictions are a major obstacle to humanitarian aid and to the respect and exercise of human rights. We stress that the opening of the DPRK's borders must go hand in hand with rapid, safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid. To achieve this, the entry of international personnel into the DPRK is of the utmost importance. 

Madam President, 

This Council plays an indispensable role in encouraging dialogue, de-escalation and the search for diplomatic solutions. These are essential instruments for facilitating the implementation of a peaceful, comprehensive and lasting solution to the situation on the Korean peninsula. We have a common goal and a shared responsibility in this respect. Switzerland will continue its commitment to move forward in this direction. 

I thank you.