I also thank Mr Ebo, Deputy High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, for his contribution.
In 1956, the UN Secretary-General of the time, Dag Hammarskjöld, reminded us here in this room that "the principles of the Charter are, by far, greater than the Organization in which they are embodied, and the aims which they are to safeguard are holier than the policies of any single nation or people." The universality of these principles forms the backbone of international law and of relations between peoples and nations.
One of these fundamental principles is the prohibition of the use of force. Russia's military aggression against Ukraine is a flagrant violation of this principle, which Switzerland condemns in the strongest possible terms. After almost two years, the suffering caused by this war reminds us of the centrality of the Charter and its principles. As the Secretary-General said last week in Davos: "When global norms collapse, so does trust." This is why Switzerland once again urges Russia to cease hostilities immediately and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory.
Under the UN Charter, Ukraine has the right to ensure its security and defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty. We reiterate that compliance with multilateral conventions and instruments on arms transfers, including the resolutions of this Council, is essential.
We are particularly concerned by reports that Russia would have received weapons and even used ballistic missiles from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the recent attacks. We call on Russia and all other UN member states to comply fully with their commitments under relevant UN resolutions, such as resolution 1718 (2006), prohibiting all arms transfers from and towards the DPRK.
After almost two years since the start of the military aggression, the Ukrainian population is relying on international solidarity to stay warm, to have a place to live and not to go hungry to bed. The unprecedented intensification of Russian attacks on towns and infrastructure throughout the country, in extreme winter conditions, is killing civilians by the hundreds and accentuating humanitarian needs. We also deplore the attacks on civilians in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine, notably in Donetsk on Sunday. We recall that international humanitarian law must be respected at all times, and that the parties to the conflict must ensure the protection of the civilian population and respect the rules governing the conduct of hostilities.
We echo the UN's call to meet the needs of Ukrainians inside and outside their country by 2024. I can assure you that Switzerland will continue to make its contribution. However, as long as the military aggression continues, the suffering will continue. Efforts to achieve a just peace in Ukraine must therefore be redoubled.
True to our long-standing commitment to peace, we are ready to support any initiative and dialogue aimed at achieving peace in accordance with the UN Charter. The participation of 82 countries and international organizations at the fourth meeting of national security advisors in Davos last week testifies to the growing desire to discuss the principles for restoring lasting peace in Ukraine. We welcome this willingness to work for peace on a trans-regional level.
Switzerland wishes to make its contribution in this respect. That's why, at the request of the Ukrainian President, we have committed ourselves to efforts aimed at consolidating a common understanding of the path to lasting peace in Ukraine, shared by the broadest possible representation of countries. In this way, a high-level conference would help lay the foundations for future peace negotiations involving all parties in the spirit of the UN Charter, which calls for the peaceful settlement of disputes.
This war ultimately concerns all the signatory states of the Charter, as it is contrary to this universal treaty. As an elected member of the Security Council and beyond, we are deeply committed to the realization of the principles of the Charter, and to the protection and restoration of peace - on our continent and elsewhere.
I thank you.