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Statement on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at an open briefing on the situation in Ukraine

Mr. President,

I would like to thank Ecuador for calling this timely briefing. I would also like to thank the briefers for their contribution and insights.

Mr. President,

let me make three points on behalf of my delegation:

One – on the disheartening lack of progress in our discussions on the war in Ukraine and regarding the way forward. We have been following the Security Council discussions with great diligence and could not help but notice a somewhat repetitive nature of discussions in this chamber.

Why? Because nothing has changed. The Russian aggression against Ukraine, which Slovenia condemns in the strongest possible terms, continues to blatantly violate UN Charter, international law and international human rights and humanitarian law. The situation on the ground is not stabilising, to the contrary – the death toll is rising with alarming rate, and civilians continue to be targeted. In the last weeks, the festive period brought destruction and death, not peace.

As long as the principles of UN Charter and international law are being trampled, as long as civilians are suffering, there should be no room for fatigue. We should call out the aggression for what it is – again and again.

The Council needs to break its silence and speak in defence of the UN Charter and peace. Slovenia will continue its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

There is no room for double standards when it comes to respect of international law, including IHL and human rights law. These laws apply to Ukraine as they apply to Gaza. Slovenia will call on these principles equally and with respect to every armed conflict.

This brings me to my second point – the repeated barrage on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. There has been a marked increase of Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure with the start of winter. Ukrainians have been subjected to the largest aerial missile attacks since the beginning of the war.

Additional worrying aspect is impact of attacks on Ukrainian nuclear infrastructure. A month ago, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe underwent another complete loss of off-site power supply. This entails obvious nuclear safety and security risk factors, and there are no guarantees it could not happen again. The issue of nuclear safety and security in Ukraine and in armed conflicts in general is of utmost importance for us.  Seven pillars and five principles on nuclear security and safety by the International Atomic Energy Agency need to be fully observed.

Mr. President,

My third and last point is that we should not give up hope for peace. Slovenia welcomes the efforts of President Zelensky in the framework of Ukraine’s Peace Formula. Slovenia actively participates in the discussions and hopes to see – rather sooner than later – the concrete proposals to return peace to Ukraine. Lasting, just and sustainable peace that would be based on the respect of international law and the UN Charter.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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