Mr. President,

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

Following the tests and announcements of recent months, Switzerland has watched with great concern this latest attempt by the DPRK to launch a satellite last Monday. Its failure should not mislead us as to the fact that this is a violation of the resolutions of this Council. Switzerland condemns it - as it does all such violations. This is why we also condemn the even more recent launch of a salvo of short-range ballistic missiles by the DPRK. We note that the Japanese authorities were notified of the attempted satellite launch. However, such a warning is only effective if all relevant regional actors and international organizations are informed in advance. 

Allow me to underline three points: 

Firstly, we reiterate our call on the DPRK to refrain from any future attempts to launch ballistic missiles. Any launch using ballistic missile technology is a violation of international law, including resolutions of this Security Council. As mentioned at our last meetings, the question of the rocket's payload is not decisive in this situation. This Council should therefore condemn and respond to these launches.

Secondly, while the obligations arising from the resolutions apply primarily to the DPRK, they also apply to all other states. All states are obliged to effectively implement the Security Council's sanctions. Unless previously exempted by the 1718 Committee, cooperation projects in the fields of space and armaments are, as a matter of principle, incompatible with compliance with Security Council sanctions. Furthermore, as State Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), we are obliged to combat the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Any attempt to legitimize the development of the DPRK's nuclear program and delivery systems violates the spirit of the resolutions of this Council and of the NPT. Continued vigilance on the part of all UN member states is therefore essential. We must all act in favour of disarmament and the maintenance of the nuclear taboo. This is a legal obligation, a moral duty and an existential necessity.

Thirdly, let us not forget the plight of the people of the DPRK, who must not be left behind. We are troubled to see that, even after the relaxation of the heavy restrictions put in place by the DPRK in connection with the pandemic, access to the country for international humanitarians is still not possible. The UN system, as well as bilateral and non-governmental actors, are nonetheless ready to resume their support for the DPRK population. We reiterate, however, that they should enjoy safe and unhindered access. 

Mr. President, 

The Council must not remain passive in the face of these tests which, together with the DPRK's nuclear program, constitute a threat to international peace and security. It plays an indispensable role in encouraging dialogue, de-escalation and the search for diplomatic solutions. As recommended by the New Agenda for Peace, this involves remedying the breakdown of international norms aimed at preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons. We also stress that serious and systematic human rights violations and impunity must cease.

Finally, any action by the Council must be based on reliable and independent information. In this context, Switzerland deeply regrets that, following last March's veto, the mandate of the group of experts has not been renewed. For its part, Switzerland will continue its commitment within the Council, the Sanctions Committee and on the ground to a denuclearized and peaceful Korean peninsula.  

Thank you.