UNSC: Developments Related to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine
At the outset, I would like to thank the Under Secretary-General, Rosemary Di Carlo, for the updates on the rising international safety concerns on the state of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. When this Council met on the same subject a little over a week ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), through its Director General, Mr. Rafael Grossi, warned of potentially tragic consequences for human lives and the environment in the event of the accidental leakage of radioactive material from the nuclear facility. Ghana regrets that despite the warnings and spirited appeals from the international community for all military action around the facility to cease, the indiscriminate shelling, attacks and militarization of the nuclear facility and its vicinity has continued.
We are constrained to repeat, once again, our grave alarm and condemnation of these unacceptable developments. We wish to remind the armed parties that international law, including the 1977 Amendment to the Geneva Conventions prohibits the conduct of military conflict around nuclear sites. We also call for the immediate and full respect for the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment by all the armed parties. We call for the demilitarisation of all the zones around Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. In this respect, Ghana fully supports an independent assessment of the nuclear safety standards and safeguards at the Zaporizhzhia facility to assure that no breach has occurred. For this to happen, however, it is crucial for the Russian Federation, which exercises control of the facility to grant immediate access to the IAEA in order for the agency to conduct the requisite assessment. We also stress the urgency for the IAEA authorities to act quickly to assess the danger and respond appropriately.
Ghana continues to hold the principled position that there is no military solution to the ongoing military hostilities. We, therefore, urge the intensification of diplomacy and dialogue to comprehensively address the underlying security concerns and mistrust between the warring parties. Furthermore, while the pursuit of diplomacy and dialogue is prioritized, we also strongly believe that in parallel an unconditional withdrawal of the invading troops of Russian Federation from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine is a condition precedent for the restoration of the peace and security of Ukraine.
In conclusion, we reiterate our previous calls that the plight of the civilians, particularly women and children, and the growing humanitarian threat should override all other considerations as we seek to stop this needless war.
I thank you.