UN / UKRAINE

18-Mar-2022 00:03:48
Following renewed allegations from the Russian Federation, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs told the Security Council on Friday that the organization "is not aware of any such biological weapons programmes" in Ukraine. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / UKRAINE
TRT: 3:48
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / CHINESE / NATS

DATELINE: 18 MARCH 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

18 MARCH 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations:
"I have been informed that the Russian Federation has submitted documents regarding allegations of biological weapons programmes in Ukraine. As I informed the Council last Friday, the United Nations is not aware of any such biological weapons programmes. I would also like to note that the United Nations currently has neither the mandate nor the technical or operational capacity to investigate this information."
4.Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations:
"Turning to the issue of the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear power facilities, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported that according to the Ukrainian authorities, all safety systems at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant remained fully functional as of yesterday, following the site’s loss of connection to a third external power line linking it to the national electricity grid.Although officials from Russia’s state nuclear power company were present at the facilities in southern Ukraine, Ukrainian staff continue to operate the plant."
6.Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations:
"I wish also to highlight the terrible toll this conflict is having on civilians. The civilian casualties continue to rise: as of 16 March, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had recorded 2,032 civilian casualties, including 780 killed of whom 58 were children. The actual number of casualties is believed to be much higher. Most of these casualties are caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area."
8.Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Vasily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
"Since last week, new details have come to light that allows to +state that components for biological weapons were being created in the territory of Ukraine. The implementation of the aforementioned American-Ukraine agreement in 2005, comments on which we are still waiting from the American representation, has been going full steam ahead all these years. However, in the documents you can see that American colleagues were not, as they claimed, to be helping the Ministry of health, but rather the Ministry of Defense. "
10.Med shot, President of the Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, United States:
"And last week, we heard from the Russian representative a tirade of bizarre conspiracy theories. This week we’re hearing a whole lot more where that came from, things that sound like they were forwarded to him on a chain email from some dark corner of the internet. President Biden has a word for this kind of talk: Malarkey. As I said one week ago, Ukraine does not have a biological weapons program."
12.Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations:
"China will continue to facilitate dialogue for peace. we support the United Nations and all parties in ramping up the mediation efforts and hope all parties can do more things that are conducive to peace talks rather than adding fuel to the fire."
14.Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
Following renewed allegations from the Russian Federation, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs told the Security Council on Friday that the organization "is not aware of any such biological weapons programmes" in Ukraine.
Izumi Nakamitsu also noted that "the United Nations currently has neither the mandate nor the technical or operational capacity to investigate this information."

Turning to the issue of the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear power facilities, she informed that the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported that according to the Ukrainian authorities, all safety systems at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant remained fully functional as of Thursday, following the site’s loss of connection to a third external power line linking it to the national electricity grid.

"Although officials from Russia’s state nuclear power company were present at the facilities in southern Ukraine, Ukrainian staff continue to operate the plant," Nakamitsu said.

Regarding the Chornobyl power plant, it remains connected to the national electricity grid, following reconnection on 14 March. However, Ukrainian operators and guards have not been able to rotate for three weeks. The IAEA has reported that, according to the Ukrainian authorities, eight of the country’s 15 reactors remained operating.

Regarding nuclear safeguards, the IAEA is still not receiving remote data transmission from its monitoring systems installed at the Chornobyl, but such data was being transferred to IAEA headquarters from the other nuclear power plants in Ukraine.

Nakamitsu also took the opportunity to reiterate the Secretary-General’s support for efforts by the IAEA to establish a framework on the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities and urge all parties to work towards this end.

The High Representative then highlighted the "terrible toll" the conflict is having on civilians.

As of 16 March, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had recorded 2,032 civilian casualties, including 780 killed of whom 58 were children. The actual number of casualties is believed to be much higher.

Nakamitsu informed that "most of these casualties are caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area", including heavy artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems, ballistic and cruise missiles and air strikes.

Vasily Nebenzia, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, argued that, since last week, new details have come to light that allows to state that components for biological weapons were being created in the territory of Ukraine.

"The implementation of the aforementioned American-Ukraine agreement in 2005, comments on which we are still waiting from the American representation, has been going full steam ahead all these years. However, in the documents you can see that American colleagues were not, as they claimed, to be helping the Ministry of health, but rather the Ministry of Defense," he said.

The Permanent Representative from the United States, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, noted that, just last week, the Council had heard from the Russian representative "a tirade of bizarre conspiracy theories."

"This week we’re hearing a whole lot more where that came from, things that sound like they were forwarded to him on a chain email from some dark corner of the internet. President Biden has a word for this kind of talk: Malarkey," she said.

On his turn, Zhang Jun, the Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, said his country "will continue to facilitate dialogue for peace."

"We support the United Nations and all parties in ramping up the mediation efforts and hope all parties can do more things that are conducive to peace talks rather than adding fuel to the fire," said Jun.
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