Mrs President,

I thank the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, for her briefing. I have also taken note of Mr Matthew Hoh’s comments.

Last week, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine presented its new report revealing distressing details of violations of obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law. After more than two years, violations committed during the conduct of hostilities as well as those relating to the treatment of civilians and persons hors de combat, including torture, willful killings of protected persons and sexual and gender-based violence, continue.

In this context and in line with Switzerland's previous statements on today's issue, allow me to highlight three key points:

Firstly, we recall that today's situation is a direct consequence of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, in clear violation of the UN Charter. We condemn this military aggression and reject any attempt to shirk this responsibility. Ukraine has the right to ensure its security and to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Secondly, we stress the importance of maintaining the non-proliferation architecture through the effective implementation of multilateral arms transfer agreements and instruments. All States must comply with their obligations under these frameworks, including the relevant resolutions of this Council. We are dismayed by findings of transfers of arms and munitions from the DPRK to Russia, in violation of resolutions of this Council, as we are by reports of transfers of drones by Iran, despite the restrictions in force until October 2023.

Third, we urge all parties to take all possible precautions to ensure the protection of civilian lives and objects. Attacks with explosive weapons in populated areas remain the leading cause of civilian casualties in Ukraine. In recent weeks, new strikes have caused dozens of deaths and injuries among civilians, including during a new wave of massive attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructures this morning. Going back to the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry, we recall that it established that the Russian armed forces are showing disregard for possible harm caused to civilians. Switzerland stresses the urgent need for strict compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights.

In response to the major humanitarian challenges, Switzerland reaffirms its solidarity with the Ukrainian people. We remain committed to ensuring accountability and enabling reconstruction, and have redoubled our peace-building and humanitarian efforts, including humanitarian demining. Switzerland will continue to advocate peace in Ukraine - a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Thank you.

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