DFA Logo

This content from the
Department of Foreign Affairs
has now moved to Ireland.ie/un/newyork. If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.

Skip to main content

Please be advised that the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, New York website has moved and this page is no longer being updated. The Permanent Mission's website is now available at Ireland.ie/un/newyork.

Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Ukraine - Humanitarian

Thank you very much, Madam President.


I would like to thank Executive Director David Beasley, Amir Abdulla and Assistant Secretary-General Joyce Msuya for updating this Council on the humanitarian catastrophe that is engulfing the people of Ukraine. I also wanted to welcome our dear colleague from Ukraine amongst us this afternoon.


The grim realities that have been shared with us in the last minutes starkly demonstrate the human misery caused by this senseless and unlawful war.


And, the roll call of devastation caused by Russia’s war goes on.


Daily, we are witnessing the devastating humanitarian impacts of Russia’s use of explosive weapons in populated areas.



At least 1,100 civilian deaths have been now confirmed by the UN, including more than 100 children. We all know at this table that the real figure is likely to be far higher.



Numbers speak for themselves. Over 3.9 million refugees have fled for their lives from Russia’s invasion. 6.5 million people have been displaced within Ukraine’s own borders, desperately sheltering from a war with diminishing resources and little to no access to basic needs.


We are deeply concerned regarding the increasing vulnerabilities of IDPs and refugees as this war continues. Reported so-called ‘deportations’ or quite frankly, abductions, where Ukrainian citizens are taken forcibly across the border and into Russia are simply horrifying.  We are also troubled by the activities of human traffickers to whom this war offers optimal conditions to prey on fleeing women and children.


I say it again: we condemn in the strongest terms acts of sexual and gender-based violence against women, and violence against children, which have been reported by humanitarian organisations. This is particularly unconscionable and frankly ranks amongst the other horrors being faced by Ukrainian citizens. There can be no impunity for those responsible.


We are being warned of an emerging child protection crisis, as the numbers of unaccompanied and separated children rises. We have a responsibility to heed those warnings.


We once again call on the Russian Federation to uphold their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law. To allow full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for humanitarian personnel in order for them to reach those in need.


The Russian Federation must also allow all those seeking to leave Ukraine to do so safely, to destinations of their own choosing. Truth is, only the Russian Federation can prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation it has caused.




With the world facing a looming hunger crisis, we see now that the consequences of this senseless war are being felt far beyond Ukraine’s sovereign borders.




This unjustified war is already having a multiplier effect on food and nutrition insecurity - compounding other challenges,  droughts, floods and conflict elsewhere that were already increasing prices and squeezing supply chains.



The Russian Federation is one of the world’s biggest grain producers, and, in waging an unprovoked war against another major producer, is pushing up the price of staples. Putting even a loaf of bread out of the reach for those living on the edge of survival.


In addition, cruelly, Ukrainian farmers are now prevented by war from planting, harvesting and exporting grain. Future harvests are therefore already lost, with longer-term consequences for global food security.


As we’ve heard, this war has already greatly impacted the ability of the WFP itself to meet hunger needs, materially and financially, right around the world.




We were warned that 2022 was set to be a year of catastrophic hunger. Now, this senseless war has all but confirmed that ugly catastrophe. 


As if we needed reminding, this war brings the connection between conflict and hunger into stark relief.


Lives are being lost due to the food insecurity caused by this war, and even if it were to end right now this afternoon, it will still result in lives lost from hunger into the future.




The war has raged for five long weeks. Five weeks of destruction, bombardment, loss of life and loss of hope. What is not lost is our solidarity with the Ukrainian people. That remains steadfast and it remains resolute. The international community and this Council must not be numbed to the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine.


The truth remains - as it has for the past five weeks - that this war can end if the Russian Federation has the will to end it.


People trapped in need of aid in besieged cities can be reached.


Lifesaving aid can be delivered through safe humanitarian access.


Further flows of desperate, vulnerable refugees can be prevented.


Countless lives can be saved. But only if the war ends.


Only if hostilities cease and Russia ends its aggression, complies with obligations under international law. Only if the Russian Federation withdraws all forces unconditionally from the entirety of the sovereign territory of Ukraine.


We call again on the Russian Federation to do the right thing. To end this war. To remember diplomacy, to engage in genuine dialogue in good faith, and to restore peace in Ukraine. I continue to believe it is never too late to do the right thing.


Thank you, President.




« Previous Item | Next Item »