Thank you Mr. Chair.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Council, Members of the UN, distinguished guests,

I thank Secretary-General António Guterres for his commitment to peace. I would like to assure you of Switzerland's support for the actions of this Council.

During my first visit to Ukraine in October 2021, I discussed reforms and construction projects with the political authorities. We were talking about a stable and prosperous future for this country.

The contrast with my second visit last fall to Kiev, under the bombs, is chilling. And distressing.

The Russian aggression against Ukraine is an enormous shock for Switzerland, as depositary and party to the Geneva Conventions. My country is committed to the principles of peace and sovereignty, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

For 12 months, this Charter is violated and the Geneva Conventions - which set limits to the barbarity of war - have been flouted.

Switzerland, however, believes in the power of law.

I therefore call for full respect of the essential rules of international humanitarian law:

The civilian population, the wounded, prisoners and vital infrastructure must be protected by all parties to the conflict and by all combatants.

It is more than necessary to recall these commitments to which all of us here, all of us in this room, have subscribed.

We must do everything to ensure their respect on the territory of Ukraine, where war is raging.

And what can we do concretely?

We could, for example, meet in the spirit of these Geneva Conventions. We could meet to discuss the means necessary to ensure that in the midst of this heartbreaking conflict, we do not forget what defines us as human beings: the principle of humanity.

Switzerland is ready at any time to bring everyone around the table. In order to work for a better respect of international humanitarian law and, ultimately, for peace.

Next year we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. Let us not wait a year, we must act now.

Mr. Chair, dear colleagues,

After a year of war, we must gather our strengths, ideas and resources to restore security in Europe and ensure the return of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.

Switzerland therefore welcomes the resolution adopted yesterday by the General Assembly.

It is a clear signal from the vast majority of member states in favor of solidarity, dialogue and peace.

In order to make peace in Ukraine possible, I reiterate today our appeal to Russia:

It is high time to cease all hostilities and to withdraw all its troops from Ukrainian territory without delay.

Aggression, threats and disinformation are damaging the foundation of the international order. To prevent this, we need strong and effective multilateralism. We need to restore our trust in each other, our mutual trust. And to ensure that justice is done, so that peace can be built on solid foundations.

As a permanent neutral state, Switzerland fully respects its obligations under the law of neutrality. It does not favour any of the belligerents in military terms.

But neutrality does not mean indifference!

We cannot be indifferent to violations of our fundamental rights!

Along with 40 other states, Switzerland has referred the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court.

I now call on all states to cooperate with the Court. Faced with reports of war crimes, sexual violence and other serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, we cannot stand idly by. 

Mr. Chair,

Switzerland continues to support Ukraine. At the same time, Switzerland does not forget the victims of all other conflicts in the world.

The United Nations Charter must serve as a compass beyond borders and convictions. Switzerland is on the side of international law.

This is an essential condition for lasting peace - the goal to which we have committed ourselves as members of this Security Council.

I thank you for your attention.


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