Excellencies, Mr. Director General,

Switzerland welcomes the continued commitment of the International Atomic Energy Agency - and of its Director General - to ensure the protection of civilian nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

Switzerland has often recalled here its position on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine. We reiterate our call on the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory, and we condemn any attack perpetrated against civilian infrastructure.

For our country, respect for international law in general, and international humanitarian law in particular, is the foundation of international security.

The 7 pillars drawn up by the IAEA perfectly sum up what needs to be done to guarantee nuclear safety in all armed conflicts.

Today, we have the opportunity to support 5 concrete principles to protect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. 

  • 5 principles for implementing the 7 pillars in this particular case.
  • 5 principles to prevent a nuclear disaster with all its consequences for the population and the environment, beyond one generation.
  • 5 principles to ensure the protection of the civilian population.

Switzerland welcomes the Agency's efforts and fully supports these proposals.

We discuss here a pragmatic and targeted approach. I am convinced that this is an important contribution in this crisis situation.

Switzerland invites all Council members to support the 7 pillars and 5 principles proposed by the Agency.

In particular, we invite the Russian Federation and Ukraine to fully implement these 5 principles and commit to protecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Excellencies,

Respect for international humanitarian law is a priority of Swiss foreign policy. The Geneva Conventions and their Protocols bestow a clear and heavy responsibility upon us:

  • Civilian infrastructure must not be attacked during armed conflicts; and
  • The civilian population must be protected against the consequences of war - notably in occupied territories.

The rules to ensure this protection exist, but their implementation lacks. The military situation is very tense. The danger around the nuclear power plant remains.

We are all aware of the risks to the civilian population when a nuclear power plant becomes the focus of an armed conflict. It is our duty to prevent them.

Switzerland is pleased to be able to discuss issues relating to the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant within this Council.

We are committed to protecting civilian populations: this is the spirit in which we have envisaged the Presidency of the Council.

Thank you for your attention.