Mr. President,

I thank you for organizing this debate. I thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his speech, but also for his tireless commitment to advancing peace and dialogue, especially when it is most difficult.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, the facts. And they are not positive.

The times we live in are marked by the questioning of multilateralism, the multiplication of conflicts and the deepening of inequalities.

But where remains our shared responsibility? It is our duty here to recall the essential principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, which I am holding in my hands, and to ensure that we fulfil the mandate it has entrusted us with.

This seminal text expresses the common will of all peoples to live in peace.

This text is the guarantor of universal values and the main principles of the multilateral order

  • from the sovereign equality of all States to the prohibition of the use of force,
  • from the defense of human rights to the economic and social progress of peoples.

The suffering of civilians is always the common denominator of war.

However, international humanitarian law imposes obligations on all parties to conflict. Switzerland is the depositary State of the Geneva Conventions and, faithful to our long-standing humanitarian tradition, we are committed to defending and upholding international law.

As a member of this Council, we are committed to fulfilling the clear and unique mandate conferred on us by the UN Charter: the maintenance of international peace and security.

With Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, the principles of the Charter are being violated on a massive scale.

Yet session after session, the Russian Federation, a permanent member of the Council, denies its responsibility.

  • For the thousands of dead and wounded in Ukraine.
  • For the millions of displaced persons and, finally,
  • For all those plunged into deep insecurity, wherever they are in the world, including Russia.

The consequences of this war are planetary.

  • Global food security has been undermined.
  • The energy sector is disrupted.
  • Nuclear risks are increasing.
  • Inequalities are growing.

Switzerland expects the Russian Federation to respect the Charter and its principles.

Switzerland once again calls on Russia to cease hostilities, withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While the Security Council's mandate is clear, it is not always as effective as it should be.

While the objective is to save lives, guarantee global security and reinforce stability, our discussions on certain issues get bogged down and fail to produce tangible results.

This Council must not squander the most precious asset at its disposal: the trust of those who rely on our work to guarantee a life in dignity and peace.

We have the means to fulfil our mandate, as illustrated by the 26 resolutions we have adopted since January. Resolutions that promote peace and security in Colombia, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan.

These examples are here to remind us that the Security Council, though it is more difficult than before, has retained its capacity for action.

Of course, the Council is in urgent need of reform. For many years now, Switzerland has been committed to making it more representative – starting with the African countries – and to improving its working methods. However, no reform can replace the will of States to respect the Charter.

In his New Agenda for Peace, the Secretary-General outlines the steps to be taken to strengthen multilateralism: closing ranks behind the principles of universality, solidarity and trust.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Switzerland assumes this duty of solidarity. In Ukraine, we are committed to alleviating the suffering of the civilian population, rendering justice to the victims and promoting a political solution to the conflict in due time.

We have opened our doors to people fleeing the war, provide humanitarian aid and are working with the Ukrainian government on the process of reconstruction.

The challenges that Ukraine is facing are immense.

To give just one example: an area four times the size of Switzerland is contaminated with mines in Ukraine. Here, too, we are supporting humanitarian demining with our know-how and the supply of equipment. And we plan to further step up these commitments.

It is in this spirit of solidarity that we are calling for the Black Sea Initiative to be relaunched. Switzerland expresses its gratitude to the Secretary-General for his tireless efforts in this regard.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

multilateralism is the only option

  • to achieve peace,
  • to move away from individualistic thinking, in which each side seeks only to defend its own interests and maximize its own influence,
  • to relaunch the search for common, sustainable solutions that guarantee a dignified life for all.

Against this backdrop, Switzerland welcomes diplomatic initiatives in favor of a lasting peace in Ukraine, a peace rooted in the principles of the UN Charter.

For it is the Charter that is the cornerstone of peaceful coexistence of all States.

Never have isolationism, threats and violence provided the answers to the dysfunctions and imbalances of the world in which we live.

This Council can only successfully fulfil its mandate, and thus implement the common desire of all people of this world to live in peace and security, if it acts in a spirit of trust and collaboration.

This spirit must guide everyone around this table. Today, we have the opportunity to change the course of event. We have to want it. We have to want it ardently. For lasting peace is worth more than any fleeting gain.

Thank you for your attention.