I would like to thank the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, for her speech. I have taken note of Mr. Danny Haiphong's remarks.
Since the last session on Ukraine, Russia has continued its relentless attacks on its neighboring country. We have expressed our worries about the impact of the Russian military aggression on civilians in Ukraine on numerous occasions. And we reiterate them today. Protected by international humanitarian law, civilians must not be targeted.
Yet our appeals have gone unheeded. On the contrary: according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, the number of indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure has reached "unimaginable levels". Since the beginning of this month alone, we have received numerous reports of the destruction of homes, restaurants, shops and other civilian infrastructure in every region of the country. The waves of attacks are affecting dozens of civilians, including children, and tearing families apart. And strikes against Ukrainian port facilities continue to increase the risks to global food security.
In addition, people helping the victims have been affected, including medical staff and humanitarian workers. Sometimes, the same target is hit twice within a short time span, endangering relief workers. Places where representatives of humanitarian organizations are staying have been targeted. The resources deployed to help the victims of the conflict are thus being jeopardized. We recall that international humanitarian law protects the wounded and medical missions, as well as humanitarian personnel and activities.
The list of atrocities suffered by the Ukrainian people keeps growing. Switzerland disputes the allegations that Ukraine and its partners are responsible for the worsening of the current situation.
Our position remains unchanged: We condemn Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, which constitutes a serious violation of international law. Like all states, Ukraine has the right to defend its territorial integrity and to ensure its security.
Switzerland calls for strict compliance with international humanitarian law. The principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution must be respected in the conduct of hostilities. It is essential that those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law are held accountable for their actions in order to bring justice to the victims and prevent such violations from recurring in the future. We recognize the indispensable work of humanitarian actors providing assistance in extremely difficult circumstances.
Switzerland welcomes the diplomatic efforts being made to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. We are ready to play an active part in achieving this goal. In order to reach a diplomatic solution, we call on Russia – once again – to de-escalate the situation, cease all combat operations and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory.
Thank you very much.