Mr President

 I join my colleagues in expressing our deep condolences on the death of President Raisi, Foreign Minister Abdollahian and the accompanying delegation.

I thank the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms Nakamitsu, for her briefing. I have also taken note of Ms Margaret Kimberley's remarks. 

 While we are once again witnessing attempts to divert attention from responsibility for the situation in Ukraine, the relentless Russian attacks on Ukraine, its people and its infrastructure continue unabated.

 Last week, at this Council's meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, we were informed that, according to figures from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), more than 700 civilian casualties were recorded across Ukraine in April alone. In addition, attacks on civilian infrastructure have increased at an alarming rate. The situation in Ukraine's Kharkiv region is of particular concern, with escalating hostilities and intensified Russian attacks resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement and a worsening humanitarian situation. We would like to express our deep gratitude to the humanitarian personnel who are facilitating the evacuation of the population closest to the hostilities. 

 On the eve of the annual debate on the protection of civilians, we recall that all parties to a conflict are obliged to give priority to the protection of civilians and people who are not, or are no longer, taking part in hostilities. We stress the urgent need for strict compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights. 

 Mr. President,

In agreeing to host the first Ukraine Peace Summit, we wish to make our contribution in this respect. The overall vision of the Summit is to inspire a future peace process by making room for different ideas, and to produce practical steps towards a framework for achieving this goal. The Summit on June 15 and 16 aims above all to promote a common understanding with a view to a potential future peace process. We hope to be able to count on the constructive participation of many of you in moving towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine, based on the UN Charter. Our neutrality does not mean indifference. Outside the military sphere, the law of neutrality does not stand in the way of Switzerland's commitments, including those in favor of a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. We see the organization of a high-level summit on peace in Ukraine as a continuation of this commitment.

Mr. President,

The deaths, injuries, destruction and immense suffering we are witnessing would not have occurred without Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. This is a flagrant violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter. To achieve a peaceful solution, we renew our appeal to Russia to immediately de-escalate the situation, cease all hostilities and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory. The United Nations Charter commits us all to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States. We also recall that Ukraine has the right to ensure its security and defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

 Switzerland is deeply dismayed by the fact that Russia's military aggression appears to continue to be fueled and intensified by transfers of arms and munitions to Russia from third parties. We have repeatedly stressed that States must respect and comply with their obligations under international arms control instruments. This includes the relevant resolutions of this Council. 

I thank you.