I will now make a statement in my capacity as representative of Switzerland.
I thank Mr. Ebo, Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, for his presentation.
As Member States of the United Nations, we are all committed to the fundamental principles enshrined in the UN Charter. These include respect for the sovereign equality and territorial integrity of states, including the prohibition of the use of force and territorial expansion by force.
With Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, these fundamental principles of the multilateral order have been flagrantly violated. Like all states, Ukraine has the right to ensure its security and defend its territorial integrity. We do not accept that the responsibility for this war and its consequences be diverted.
The civilian population has been paying far too high a price and suffering the consequences of this military aggression for more than a year. Thousands of people have been killed or wounded. More than eight million people had to flee Ukraine. Vital infrastructure, hospitals, schools and homes have been destroyed - the latest examples only a few days ago. The parties must respect international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. The civilian population and civilian property must be protected.
Moreover, worldwide food and energy insecurity has increased. In this regard, we welcome the continuation of the Black Sea initiative and encourage further discussions in order to achieve its improvement, expansion and extension.
Switzerland deplores the disastrous consequences of this war and condemns the military aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. I reiterate here the firm call to Russia to de-escalate the situation, to cease all hostilities and to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory without delay - a call, which has been made repeatedly and confirmed by the International Court of Justice. This would not only put an end to the suffering of the civilian population, but would also allow international support for Ukraine to focus more on its reconstruction needs instead of its defense.
Every day that the military aggression continues is one day too many. It is urgent to hold those responsible accountable and to bring about a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in accordance with international law. Until then, Switzerland will continue to provide humanitarian aid, work for justice, welcome refugees and support the reconstruction process in Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and its people.