The Situation in Ukraine: UNSC Meeting on Humanitarian Situation


Madam President,

I would like to thank you for convening today’s session. I would also like to express my delegation’s appreciation to the UNICEF Executive Director, Madam Catherine Russel for highlighting the impact that the conflict has had on children in Ukraine. Let me also thank Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths, for the updated situational report on the humanitarian crises in Ukraine. We also welcome the representative of Ukraine to this meeting.

Ghana is alarmed at the exponentially high levels of the humanitarian crises in Ukraine since this Council’s first consideration of the matter on February 28 this year. At the time, it was reported that about 100 000 people were displaced, as some 500 thousand more attempted to flee from shelling of  heavy artillery, missiles and airstrikes in the cities. Today, and only a week later, nearly 1,200 casualties have been recorded since the start of the conflict, 1.7 million people have fled the cities of Ukraine to neighbouring countries and some 160 000 have been internally displaced.

What remains unchanged, however, are the principles and the responsibility to ensure the protection of all persons suffering under the weight of the raging conflict in Ukraine. We must therefore uphold the legitimacy of the international norms of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols that require of conflicting parties, a duty to preserve the sanctity of human life by taking necessary precautions to spare the lives of civilians and avoid the destruction of civilian infrastructure during the time of war.

All member States are duty bound to comply with their international law obligations, international humanitarian law and human rights law. Failure to do so, constitute serious violations which cannot and must not be ignored. It is regrettable, that the agreement reached between the two sides for the creation of humanitarian corridors for safe evacuations and the safe passage of
food and medicines did not hold. We join other members of this Council in reiterating the call for a humanitarian pause to allow the evacuation of civilians, especially in the cities of Mariupol and Kharkiv, where intense military operations are ongoing. We call for the immediate cessation of hostilities in residential and civilian populated areas.


It is also vital that agreements are reached to allow “windows of silence” that would enable the safe and unhindered passage of humanitarian convoys to all areas where civilians remain in need of water, food and medical care. Ghana further supports the United Nations’ ask for the urgent establishment of a notification system and an emergency hotline with both the Russian Federation and the Ukrainian Government to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and life-saving supplies. Moreover, we are compelled to reiterate the absolute importance for the parties to steer away the military hostilities from all nuclear installations in Ukraine to avoid the risk of a nuclear disaster. We urge the IAEA to continue to monitor activities within Ukraine’s nuclear programme and operationalize preventive mechanisms to avert any accidental occurrences.We take note of the complex environment within which the humanitarian agencies are operating and commend them for their commitment.

We also acknowledge those member States and international institutions which have contributed to the humanitarian fund required to ensure adequate humanitarian response.
We are disheartened by the trauma and suffering that children in Ukraine are experiencing during this period. These are the succeeding generations we pledged to save from the scourge of war. We commend UNICEF for its active engagement in the humanitarian operations and encourage the humanitarian agencies in their effort to address the peculiar vulnerabilities of children as well as the women, the aged and persons with disabilities.

Madam President,
I wish to take this opportunity to commend the neighbouring countries of Ukraine and other European countries who have opened their borders to offer refuge to persons fleeing the conflict situation. We continue to prevail on them in their efforts to be guided by the principles of humanity and neutrality, impartiality and independence.
In closing, Madam President, I must re-echo the call upon the Russian Federation to end the aggression against the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine and withdraw its military forces. We firmly believe that military options will not deliver the mutual demands of security between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

As the humanitarian situation in Ukraine worsens, economic ramifications are already being felt globally. We hope that this Council will take a unified path to support efforts to resolve the conflict through diplomacy and dialogue.

I thank you very much, Madam President.