Statement on the situation in Ukraine

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the Briefing on Maintenance of International Peace and Security in Ukraine

Thank you very much Mr. President,

I would like to thank both briefers, Ms. Msuya and Dr. Zhovnir, for their contribution, and I welcome the participation of Ukraine, European Union and Poland.

Mr. President,

We are appalled by the latest airstrikes on Ukraine by the country you are representing. While we fail to understand the reason for this war, we are convinced that there is absolutely nothing that can justify the brutal attacks on critical civilian infrastructure. Nothing justifies systematic attacks on medical facilities. Yesterday, another low in this war of aggression was reached with a direct missile strike at the Okhmatdyt hospital – One of Europe’s largest children hospitals. As if this were not enough, the follow-up strike wrecked a maternity hospital in the vicinity. We are again seeing the full spectrum of horror this war has brought, this time around with children and their parents at its centre. It is indeed beyond the limits of humanity, as Dr. Zhovnir just described his feelings.

In response to Russia‘s claims that the responsibility for this devastation should be put on air-defence systems, we would like clarify: independent sources are disproving these claims. We deplore Russian missile strikes and we reject the lack of responsibility that Russia is showing in relation to them.

Mr. President,

The Council should not lose sight of the full picture of the destruction this war has brought. Yesterday’s horrid missile attack is just the tip of the iceberg. WHO has verified that from April to May this year more than one third of attacks against health-care facilities, happened in Ukraine.

In parallel, the health-care needs have been increasing. In 2024, the civilian casualties have been continuously on the rise, with each month demanding a greater death toll. Additionally, only in May, the new offensive around the city of Kharkiv caused the largest displacement in Ukraine since 2023.

Mr. President,

Killing and maiming children and attacks against hospitals are grave violations against children in armed conflicts. Deliberate targeting of critical civilian infrastructure is prohibited by the international humanitarian law. Rejecting responsibility equals endorsing impunity. This Council is entrusted by the Charter to address and prevent all of the above.

Too many fathers and mothers have been killed, too many children have been deprived of their future, too many homes and schools have been reduced to rubble, and too many hospitals have stopped providing life-saving services.

We have seen enough death and destruction for a lifetime. No amount of our support, physical and psychosocial rehabilitation, or assistance to the health and emergency services can alleviate all this suffering.

Mr. President,

Please, stop this war. It has been going on for far too long. 

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