UN Security Council Meeting Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine
I thank USG Rosemary DiCarlo for her comprehensive briefing and assessment of the security and humanitarian situations in Ukraine. At the outset, I reaffirm Ghana’s complete commitment to the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We reiterate our support for all legitimate international efforts aimed at restoring Ukraine to a state of peace.
The question of global food security is critical. During the last meeting of the Council on Ukraine, many delegations showed strong support for the continuity of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. We are pleased that the Russian Federation has since rejoined the Initiative, which has recorded more than 10 million metric tons of grain shipment across the world. The active leadership of the Secretary-General and the Government of Turkiye have been key to the effective operationalization of the Initiative and we remain supportive of their efforts in this regard. As the 120-day Initiative draws to a close on 19th November, we count on the good faith commitments of all stakeholders for the timely renewal of the Grain Deal.
The almost 100 million people who suffer from high levels of food insecurity is an unacceptable reality. We urge that their condition should be at the forefront of discussions to ensure unhindered global food supplies and adopt pragmatic measures to address impediments to the export of Russian fertilizers and agro products. We must prevent the further worsening of food insecurity in the coming months. On the deteriorating security and humanitarian situations, Ghana remains deeply concerned by the intensified missile and drone attacks in several cities of Ukraine, including, renewed attacks on Kyiv, Kharkiv and Lviv yesterday. The unrelenting assault on Ukraine’s already battered energy infrastructure amidst the upcoming winter season threaten the livelihood of many civilians. Many homes, schools and medical facilities also have no heating or access to portable water. Typical of all conflict situations, the women, children, and vulnerable persons, most of whom are either displaced or sheltering in bonkers, have become the worst victims of this war.
The attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure reveal the worst form of our common humanity and constitute serious violations of international law. It departs from the accepted norms and the customary principles of conventional warfare codified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocol relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflict. Ghana, therefore, reiterates its call on the parties to bring their forces in accord with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law. We are gravely alarmed by the emerging reports of possible war crimes in the city of Kherson and maintain the principled position that such claims including, human rights violations and conflict related sexual violence be submitted to thorough, transparent and independent investigations. The Security Council, together with the international community must work collectively to avoid impunity in Ukraine and secure justice for all victims of the war. We note with satisfaction the ongoing humanitarian efforts, including the distributions of cash, food and non-food items, medical outreach and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. In commending the United Nations humanitarian agencies and partners for the life-saving support provided since the beginning of the war, we also stress the need for such efforts to be guided by the fundamental principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
While welcoming the elevated humanitarian efforts, we deem it necessary to point out that humanitarian assistance only offers temporal relief and is insufficient to protect civilians from harm. Humanitarian assistance cannot substitute the requirement for a comprehensive and lasting resolution of conflict. We therefore re-iterate our call on the Russian Federation to immediately and unconditionally cease its aggression against Ukraine consistent with the rules of international law and the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and to seek a resolution of its concerns through diplomacy and dialogue. Yesterday’s Polish missile incident, and the experience of history reminds us of the risk that the continuation of this unnecessary war poses in its further spread. The scenes from the city of Kherson are telling signs of how much the people desire an end to the war; an end to the strife and the beginning of a new chapter of peace, reconciliation and reconstruction. The Council must therefore support all efforts for peace.
I thank you.