Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the Geneal Debate of the UNGA Second Committee

Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the Geneal Debate of the UNGA Second Committee

Madam Chair,

At the outset, let me congratulate you, as well as the other members of the Bureau on your election and assure you of our full support.

The current session of the Second Committee is being held under the extremely challenging circumstances. Among other global challenges like COVID 19 pandemic and growing climate crisis, we currently face another one – Russian aggression against Ukraine that started back in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea, and evolved into a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Shelling and bombing by the Russian forces continue to destroy Ukrainian towns and cities causing suffering and deaths of civilians, including women and children, provoking millions of Ukrainians to leave their homes and become refugees and IDPs.

On top of that, the Russian war has a devastating impact on the economy of Ukraine. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, the main targets of artillery and missile attacks by the occupying forces have predominantly been civilian infrastructure objects throughout the country.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, starting from February 24, 2022 more than 23,000 Russian shellings have been recorded, as a result of which more than 25,000 civilian objects and only 400 military objects have been damaged.

Against the background of successful counteroffensive actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the south and east of Ukraine in August and September this year, Russia resorted to the tactics of intensified and massive missile and artillery strikes against the objects of the critical civil infrastructure of our country.

The fact that such barbaric methods of waging war are used by Russia amid constant calls by its leading politicians and the media for the total destruction of all life support facilities in Ukraine is of particular concern.

Madam Chair,

The Government of Ukraine is actively working to restore Ukraine now, without waiting for the end of the war. In particular, on 4-5 July 2022, the International Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC 2022) was held in Lugano (Switzerland), where the draft of the Recovery and Development Plan was introduced by the Government of Ukraine.

This Plan should be considered as an overarching framework guiding the recovery process, allowing for coordinated multi-stakeholder participation and partnerships. This plan is currently under active development and implementation by the national authorities concerned.

We are grateful to all our partners for the economic, humanitarian and other support that they are ready to provide us and are providing at this difficult time for Ukraine, when it is fighting for its independence and territorial integrity, for international values and democracy, for the principles of international law and the UN Charter, when Ukraine is fighting against the aggressor who owns the world's largest territory, but still tries to annex parts of other states, despite the condemnation of such moves by the international community.

Madam Chair,

A lot of us in this room have already stressed that Russian war against Ukraine has had severe and far-reaching global repercussions.

Among other things, it concerns global food security. Over the past years, Ukraine has been a major contributor to food security in many countries around the world due to its traditionally strong food exports.

According to the results of the 2021/2022 marketing year, Ukraine ranked 1st in the world in the export of sunflower oil, and 3rd – in the export of barley, entering the top four largest exporters of corn and five largest exporters of wheat. Russian blockade of Ukraine’s food exports in Black Sea ports since February 2022, setting our fields on fire, shelling our farms and grain storages, stealing the agricultural hardware from our farmers – all of this has led to dire impacts for the regions already facing severe food insecurity, with raising food prices and the threat of famine. And even in the conditions of a full-scale war, Ukraine remains resolute to contribute to resolving the food crisis by providing agricultural products for those in need.

Black Sea Grain Initiative serves as a powerful example. We are grateful to the UN Secretary-General and the President of Türkiye for their personal involvement in reaching this agreement which we fully support. Ukraine is ready to remain a guarantor of the UN World Food Programme.

Another component of Russia's aggressive policy is energy. In fact, Russia has turned energy resources into weapons, using countries' dependence on Russian oil and gas to achieve its political and geopolitical goals, especially in the run-up to winter.

Disruptions in supply indicate the unreliability of Russia as a trading partner. Therefore, diversification of energy supplies, as well as transition to renewable energy sources can be considered as possible ways of preventing energy crises in the future. Russian energy blackmail is also directed at Ukraine, in particular through the destruction of our energy infrastructure, shelling over and the seizure of 3 Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.

The situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains critical due to constant shelling by Russian troops of the territory of the nuclear facility, illegal interference by outsiders, namely representatives of the Russian company Rosatom, in the technological process, and other criminal actions.

We reiterate that as long as Russia keeps its illegal presence at the nuclear power plant, the world remains on the brink of a nuclear disaster, which might be even worse than Chornobyl.

The immediate withdrawal of the occupant’s military and civilian personnel from there and the re-establishment of full control over the facility by the Ukrainian competent bodies is the only way to ensure nuclear safety and security at the ZNPP. The Russian war against Ukraine led to one more consequence – a number of countries began to invest more money in their defense sector instead of directing them to the global problems of humanity – such as addressing the COVID 19 pandemic, climate change and global warming.

Thus, this senseless Russian war has a negative impact on the efforts aimed at countering these problems. The international community should consolidate its efforts to exert pressure on Russia to put an end to this brutal and unjustified war.

This would essentially contribute to stabilizing the situation in the world, make the world safer and bring us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Thank you.