Madam President,

I would like to thank Ivor Fung, Chief, Conventional Arms Branch, Office for Disarmament Affairs. I have also taken note of Ms Karen Kwiatkowski’s remarks.

The last meeting of this Council on today's subject took place less than a month ago. Switzerland's position remains unchanged:

Russia's military aggression against Ukraine violates fundamental principles of international law. We reject any attempt to justify this act, and once again call on Russia to suspend its military operations, as ordered by the International Court of Justice over two years ago. The United Nations Charter commits us all to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States. We also recall that, under the United Nations Charter, Ukraine has the right to ensure its security and defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

As we heard at yesterday's briefing on Ukraine, this war continues to wreak havoc on the civilian population. The daily attacks throughout Ukraine are claiming new victims and exacerbating humanitarian difficulties, not least because of the damage and destruction to essential infrastructure. Switzerland condemns all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. We call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of the civilian population and persons hors de combat.

With regard to arms transfers, we reaffirm that it is essential to respect multilateral conventions and instruments in this area, including the resolutions of this Council. We reiterate our dismay at the apparent non-respect of applicable resolutions through past and current illegal arms transfers from Iran and the DPRK to Russia. We regret that the use of a veto two weeks ago put an end to the mandate of the group of experts supporting the work of the 1718 Committee, which investigates this issue.

Finally, all our efforts are needed to achieve a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. Justice is an indispensable element of peace. Switzerland attaches great importance to advancing efforts to ensure accountability for atrocities committed in Ukraine. 

I thank you.