United Nations Security Council Open Meeting on Ukraine
I thank USG Rosemary DiCarlo for her comprehensive briefing on the security and humanitarian situations in Ukraine. Ghana appreciates and remains fully supportive of the crucial work of the different United Nations’ agencies to address the several crises generated by the war. Ten months of the Russian Federation’s war on Ukraine has left many in fear of the great upheaval that lies ahead unless the war is brought to end sooner rather than later. We remain deeply concerned that belligerency appears to prevail over a reasonable approach requiring a move away from the battle front and for the warring parties to resolve their dispute through dialogue. The prevailing conditions in Ukraine reinforce the critical need for the international community to intensify efforts toward a pacific settlement of the conflict.
Despite the echoing calls by members of this Council and the international community, the Russian Federation’s actions have perpetuated a disregard for the prohibiting obligations of international law against the use of force as it engages in an intense fight to capture the city of Soledar and many other parts of the country. The multiple impacts of the war on the lives of Ukrainians, especially women and children, are tragic, to say the least. The destruction to civilian and critical energy infrastructure are monumental and require extensive resources to be restored, where possible. We are particularly concerned by recent escalatory rhetoric and posturing which carry the risk of a possible spillover of hostilities that could set the stage for a wider war marked by existing global geopolitical fissures.
While Ukraine has been the centre-stage of combat, the war has also deepened tensions within the inter-state relations of some of the most powerful nations and elicited responses, ranging from the imposition of sanctions and military assistance to Ukraine. We must also note the continuing impact of the unfolding war on the world economy. The food, energy and financial crises provoked by the war has caused many developing countries to experience receding economies and heightened chances of instability.
International peace and security are under threat from the on-going war in Ukraine. There is a need, therefore, for the Security Council to strengthen peace efforts by drawing on the tools for pacific settlement provided under the Charter of the United Nations. We are of the view that the Security Council must begin to consider a clear-cut peace process involving the parties and all other relevant stakeholders. Such an effort would require the good faith commitment of all members of the Council and must be aimed at finding pragmatic and mutually acceptable solutions grounded in the rules of international law and the avowed values of the Charter of the United Nations. It is most pressing for the Security Council to find common ground upon which it can accelerate action for peace in Ukraine.
As the body mandated to promote and maintain international peace and security, we share a collective burden to restore peace to Ukraine and its people. We must, however, point out that a lot depends on the will of the Russian Federation to abate its violations of the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We, therefore, reiterate our call for an end to this war by the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Russian Federation forces from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine. We are firmly of the view that dialogue and diplomacy offer the most viable paths to address the security and other concerns of the parties in a comprehensive and mutually acceptable manner.
We continue to be disheartened by the humanitarian suffering experienced by the people as a result of the war. Innocent people pay the price each day the war persists, with their lives and livelihoods. Millions of people have been displaced from their homes with little hope of returning to find them in place. To date, close to seven thousand deaths and more than eleven thousand injuries, including, of children have been recorded. Most regrettably, humanitarian workers have also fallen victim to the war. The deliberate attacks of civilians and humanitarian workers are unacceptable and constitute violations under international humanitarian law. We condemn all such action and call on the parties to comply with their international obligations and also to grant humanitarian access to all impacted areas.
We condemn all abuses and violations of human rights arising from the war and reiterate our call for thorough, transparent and independent investigations into all such reports. We note with regret that the United Nations fact-finding mission that was to investigate the killing of prisoners in Olenivka, has had to be disbanded for safety reasons. Despite any set-backs, we must sustain our collective commitment to ensure accountability for all war crimes to avoid impunity in Ukraine. In respect of nuclear safety and security, we wish to underscore the absolute importance for the parties to take preventive measures, including the delineation of a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as well as the other nuclear facilities in other parts of the country. We urge the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its engagements with parties to also address the concerns regarding the physical and mental well-being of the staff at the Zaporizhzhia Power plant.
Finally, let me express Ghana’s unwavering support for the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We stand in readiness to support the efforts of the Council and the wider international community in finding a comprehensive and lasting resolution of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine and further to address the global challenges resulting from the war.
I thank you for your kind attention.