Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the UN  Security Council meeting on humanitarian situation in Ukraine 

New York, 21 October 2022 

Thank you, USG DiCarlo and Resident Coordinator Brown for your information on the situation in Ukraine.  

Since 24th February this year, every of our meetings on Ukraine has started in a most sobering way, deploring an unjustified aggression; expressing deep concern for the useless loss of life, and repeating unheeded calls for Russia to stop.  

This one is no different since the situation has not changed, and next week will mark exactly eight months since the special Russian madness started in Ukraine.  

I wish nonetheless to pause for a moment, get out of the grim situation and congratulate Ukraine and its people for receiving the Sakharov Price awarded last week by the European Parliament, praising Ukrainians who are standing up for what we all believe in, defending themselves but fighting for common values, protecting democracy, freedom and rule of law.  

It is as symbolic as meaningful.  

Mr. President,  

Ukraine remains the only place in Europe where, since February, sirens sound day and night. Thousands of people have died and been injured, most of them caused by the use of explosive weapons, including shelling, missiles and air strikes.  

Attacks against civilian infrastructure, including damages of residential buildings, schools and hospitals, health care facilities have continued affecting people’s access to critical services.  

Now, Russia has escalated its action and is targeting key civilian infrastructure, namely energy installations but also residential areas, with the clear aim to terrorize population, inflict severe damage and leave entire families, women and children without water, electricity and heating while winter is approaching.  

This is another and higher level of cruelty.  

Moreover, it is now being carried out with the extended malicious hand of Iran, notoriously known for its destabilizing policies, through an open breach of SC resolution 2231.  

We call on UN not to yield to threats but undertake an adequate verification of reports that hundreds of drones used by Russian forces in Ukraine have been unlawfully imported from Iran, as part of the regular report from the SG on the implementation of resolution 2231, in accordance with para 7 of Note 44.  

After all, my question which may not be only mine, is what Russia has to hide from an independent, impartial investigation, a routine exercise to examine evidence and that the secretariat has done plenty of times 

Didn’t they agree for a similar enquiry from the UN secretariat after the bombing of a prison where more than 50 prisoners were killed in Donbas?  

Mr. President, 

Last March, in this Chamber, I asked OCHA if they were able to corroborate allegations of sexual violence used by Russian soldiers. It was not an accusation but a request for information and clarity. The Russian delegation reacted stating that Russian soldiers would never commit such acts as they have high standards and rules.  

Guess what? Now we have UN reports compiled after meticulous investigation which say that they had documented patterns of summary executions, unlawful confinement, torture, ill-treatment, rape and other sexual violence committed in areas occupied by Russian armed forces. Such despicable behaviors seem not to have not spared children, including allegedly a four-year-old girl, a baby. 

The CoI reports that sometimes, family members, including children, were forced to witness the crimes.  This is sickening and doesn’t meet any known standard of human behaviour, let alone military discipline.  

These are no high standards, these are monstrous atrocities, crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity and one day they will be presented before the court.  

Mr. President, 

Let me highlight another worry. Weeks after Russia and Belarus announced the formation of a new joint force, and days after the force started to assemble in Belarus, there is reason to fear a rising military threats from the north.  

Thousands of Russian servicemen, equipment and aircraft are flooding into Belarus, accompanied by increasingly bellicose rhetoric from Russian and Belarusian leadership. I would not be surprised to hear that this has nothing to do with Ukraine, that they are performing drills in their countries and so on.  

The fact is that we have been played this before and, as we know now, every time there has been a Russian denial regarding Ukraine, the exact opposite has happened.  

Mr. President,  

Last week, after the Council was blocked in a pattern we all are familiar with, the UNGA voted to overwhelmingly condemn the latest Russian annexation of parts of the territory of Ukraine.  

The world response was clear and resounding; Russia was, again, alone, immured in denial.  

Albania does not recognize any of the Russian actions. They have no legitimacy, no legal effect, they are null and void! Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia are and will remain Ukrainian territories.  

This war must end and we call on Russia to put an end to it, by respecting the sovereignty and territorial Integrity of Ukraine in its internationally recognized borders. 

Thank you 


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