UN Security Council Briefing on Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine
We are grateful to you as well as France and Ecuador for convening this meeting. We are also grateful to the Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths for his informative briefing. It is regrettable that the war on Ukraine is continuing in a manner that puts at risk the lives of innocent civilians as several cities and towns continue to come under the heavy bombardment of military artillery. For several weeks, intense fighting has held in areas such as Bakhmut, Mariupol, Lysychansk, Popasna, and Sievierodonetsk where there are reports of numerous civilian casualties.
Only in the first week of this month, OCHR recorded 221 civilian casualties with 58 persons killed and 163 injured, mostly by explosive weapons of wide area effects. As is often indicated in the briefings to the Council, these numbers are likely to be higher than those reported. While the casualties have reduced in comparison to previous months, we feel strongly that any civilian casualty is one too many for a war that ought not to have been fought at all.Moreover, both sides have suffered great costs as hundreds of thousands of their men are reported to have lost their lives or been injured at the frontlines of the battle.
While the turn of the war in the coming days is uncertain, what remains unchanged are the obligations of the warring parties under international humanitarian law and human rights laws to ensure the protection of civilians from harm during times of war. In keeping with these humanitarian obligations, we urge the parties to ensure the safe passage of civilians and grant unhindered humanitarian access to all areas where people require assistance, including the occupied territories of Ukraine. We caution against deliberate attacks on civilian populated areas as well as the destruction of civilian infrastructure, especially, energy and water installations, homes, medical centers, schools and marketplaces whose destruction heighten the vulnerabilities of civilians and worsen their already difficult circumstances.
We are grateful for the continuing commitment of United Nations humanitarian agencies and other partners for their indispensable efforts in placating the impact of the war on innocent lives. We wish to emphasize the importance of making medical, reproductive and psychological health services accessible to all, especially, for the women and children. We thank the leadership of the United Nations and Turkiye for their efforts in support of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and join the calls that its further renewal would be helpful in assuaging commodity market concerns. The Grain Deal has been an important stabilizing factor in global food prices over the past year. In expressing our hope for an extension of the Initiative, we reiterate our call on the parties and all stakeholders to renew their commitments to ensure its effective operation in all aspects. My delegation further urges relevant stakeholders to make progress in addressing any obstructions to the effective implantation of the MOU on promoting Russian food exports and fertilizers to world markets.
Following the recent evacuation of settlements around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, an action that has heightened uncertainty among residents and also abroad, we share in the concerns raised about the staffing conditions at the plant and express our support for the on-going consultations led by the IAEA to secure the protection of the power plant. We wish to reiterate the absolute necessity of nuclear safety and security in Ukraine and reiterate that there can be no winners in a nuclearized conflict. We, therefore, appeal for such capabilities not to be postured in the course of the conflict in the interest of all humanity.
We remain resolute in our view that the war on Ukraine cannot be won militarily and that is why we continue to urge the international community to keep at the forefront of its efforts, diplomatic interventions that can help to
secure the immediate cessation of hostilities. We believe that it is already past time for the international community to have built on the international consensus for peace in Ukraine in working towards a credible pathway for a
comprehensive political settlement in keeping with international law and the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations. We once again call on the Russian Federation to rethink its actions in line with our shared commitments for international peace and security and to immediately and unconditionally withdrew its troops from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine.
In closing, I wish to re-iterate Ghana’s complete commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine as we renew our support for all humanitarian efforts in aid of the suffering people of
I thank you.