Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Ukraine
Statement24 August 2022
Thank you, Mr President, and I would like to thank the Secretary General for his remarks, and indeed his efforts with regards to resolving the war in Ukraine, and its wider consequences, including for global food security. I also thank USG DiCarlo for her briefing and I want to welcome President Zelensky’s address to the Council, and reiterate Ireland’s unwavering friendship and support to the people of Ukraine on the occasion of their Independence Day.
It is eight and a half years since Russia first violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine; it is six months to the day since Russia launched its further illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, violating and attacking the core principles of this United Nations.
Yet let us be clear – the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine have not changed in the last six months nor in the last eight and half years. The decision by Russia to invade Ukraine has not changed those borders. They did not change in 2014, and they have not changed in 2022.
Neither will unilateral steps by Russia to integrate parts of Ukraine be recognised for anything other than flagrant violations of the principles of sovereign independence and non-intervention, and a bald attempt to entrench a supposed sphere of influence. We also condemn the dangerous, escalatory and unacceptable nuclear rhetoric by Russia during this conflict.
For 183 days, Ireland has called for an end to the unjustified and unjustifiable war being waged against Ukraine. As each day passes, reports of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by Russia grow.
Civilians in Ukraine continue to pay the highest price. For six months, they have been living under terror, not knowing when and where the next bomb will strike.
We therefore once again call on the Russian Federation to comply with its obligations under international law.
Parties to the conflict must comply with international humanitarian law. They have an obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants and not to attack civilian objects; there is a prohibition against indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks; and an obligation to take all feasible precautions in attack, andcompliance is not optional.
As I said yesterday at our meeting, Ireland remains extremely concerned by the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and the serious risk of a radiological accident or incident arising from military activity at the site with devastating consequences.
We call on Russia to end its illegal occupation of the site, withdraw its troops and munitions, and ensure that the Ukrainian authorities can uphold their responsibilities for safety and security at the site.
We welcome reports that a visit by the IAEA could go ahead soon, and support the Secretary-General’s call for the plant to remain connected to the Ukrainian power grid.
Once again, we call on Russia to end its brutal war and withdraw its troops from the entire internationally recognised territory of Ukraine, and to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbours.
Russia can end its aggression if it chooses. But even while it chooses to execute its illegal war, it still has obligations under international law and it must comply with those obligations.
We note this morning the comments from the Secretary General and the Under Secretary on humanitarian need, particularly in the face of the onset of winter. Russia’s aggression continues to cause mounting hardship and suffering for the people of Ukraine who have shown remarkable resilience and resolve.
Today, Ireland stands in full solidarity with them.