Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine - Security Council, 9195th Meeting

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16-Nov-2022 02:20:23
Senior official warns Security Council of ‘catastrophic spillover’, as death, destruction in Ukraine conflict keeps growing.

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Speakers Reiterate Russian Federation’s Responsibility for War
Any further escalation must be prevented to avoid a potentially catastrophic spillover of the war in Ukraine, a United Nations senior official told the Security Council today, a day after an explosion that killed two people in Poland near the Ukrainian border, as speakers underscored the Russian Federation’s full responsibility for the war.

Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said that, in the past few days, Ukrainians have been subjected to some of the most intense bombardments of the nine-month-old war. nbsp;Russian Federation missiles and drones have rained down on Kyiv and many other cities in the country, destroying or damaging homes and severely disrupting critical services, she said, warning that the impact of such attacks can only worsen during the coming winter months.

She reported that, as of 14 November, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recorded 16,631 civilian casualties, totalling 6,557 persons killed and 10,074 injured since the start of the aggression. nbsp;Voicing concern about the loss of electricity, hampered humanitarian efforts, allegations of atrocities and human rights violations and a looming food crisis, she said: nbsp;“There is only one way to stop the death, destruction and division. nbsp;The war must end.”

Warning that there is no end in sight to the war, she said: nbsp;“As long as it continues, the risks of potentially catastrophic spillover remain all too real.” nbsp;The incident in Poland near the Ukrainian border on 15 November is a reminder of the absolute need to prevent any further escalation, she added.

In the ensuing debate, speakers called once again on the Russian Federation to immediately cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from Ukraine. nbsp;Pointing to the conflict’s alarming consequences, they also urged unimpeded humanitarian access to civilians, as well as the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The United Arab Emirates’ representative said the 15 November incident — which remains under investigation — was an unnerving warning of the inherent risks of the war’s continuation. nbsp;“This cannot be the new normal,” she stressed, urging the Council to support any effort at talks and focus on measures that bring the sides together rather than further apart.

The United States’ representative said the incident never should have happened but for the Russian Federation’s needless invasion of Ukraine and its recent missile assaults against civilian infrastructure. nbsp;Ukraine has every right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, she said, adding: nbsp;“If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. nbsp;If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.”

The Russian Federation’s representative, rejecting that view, said that, if the West had not interfered and not supplied Ukraine with weapons and ammunition, but instead encouraged the Ukrainian leadership to make peace on realistic terms, then Moscow would not have had to carry out precision strikes on infrastructure in order to weaken Ukraine’s military potential.

Mexico’s representative, among other things, focussed on the humanitarian situation. nbsp;If living conditions keep deteriorating, there will be a new wave of displacements, he warned, adding that the conflict is also having severe mental health consequences.

Poland’s representative said two Polish citizens lost their lives from the explosion of a missile five kilometres from the Polish-Ukrainian border. nbsp;Poland, acting with full restraint and responsibility, immediately launched an investigation, with initial findings supporting the hypothesis that the event was not a deliberate attack. nbsp;Consultations between Poland and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and key partners are continuing. nbsp;However, notwithstanding the outcome of the investigation, the Russian Federation is responsible for menacing the world with its war of aggression and spill-over effects, he said.

Ukraine’s representative, on that point, said that, as temperatures drop in his country, “these terrorists” are aiming to deprive Ukrainians of electricity, water and heating by targeting civilian infrastructure in at least 11 regions. nbsp;The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw all its fighters from the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and transfer control of that facility to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Ukrainian personnel, he added. nbsp;Highlighting that 400 Russian Federation war crimes have already been documented, he said that, with the courage of the Ukrainian army, the commitment of the Ukrainian people and international solidarity, the Russian Federation will be stopped.

Also speaking today were representatives of Albania, France, United Kingdom, Kenya, India, Gabon, Ireland, Brazil, China, Norway, Ghana, Estonia and Slovakia, as well as the European Union in its capacity as observer.

The meeting began at 3:04 p.m. and ended at 5:23 p.m.
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