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

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June 6, 2022

Thank you SRSG Patton for your insightful presentation.

Ms. Karbowska, you brought us a painful but much-needed perspective of civil society on what is still going on in Ukraine.

Thank you, Sherrie, for the tremendous work that Sesame Workshop is doing for children, throughout the world. We took note of your recommendations and thank you for highlighting the critical importance of early childhood support.

I welcome the participation of the President of the Council of the European Union, His Excellency, Charles Michel, to this meeting, another testimony of the importance of and pertinence of the issue under discussion.

Dear Colleagues,

The so called “special operation of Russia in Ukraine”, in reality, an unprovoked and unjustified aggression which is turning into a war of attrition, has entered its 4th month.

103 days have passed since the unacceptable and the totally avoidable war of choice begun. It continues to destroy the country with a devastating impact on the entire population.

Every day that the war goes on brings its lot of new victims, and every time we meet on this issue, we hear about the civilians being caught in conflict, mounting significant human rights abuses and crimes committed, and the unprecedented number of displaced people.

Nine thousand victims have been documented by the OHCHR so far, knowing that the real number if much higher.

6.8 million people have crossed the border of Ukraine. They did not ask for it; they were forced to abandon their lives and their routines overnight. The quickest and the most massive displacement in Europe since WWII. These are facts, not fiction.

Such massive displacement has created an environment that exacerbates inequality and vulnerability, in particular for those first and most affected, women, girls and children, who face sexual and gender-based violence, human trafficking and exploitation.

As the devastating escalation continues in Easter Ukraine, conditions worsen for civilians who seek shelter without basics, including water and, in many cases, cannot be reached with aid and cannot be evacuated safely. We have witnessed the depth of inhumanity in Mariupol; we hope not to see it elsewhere.

We would like to also express our deep worries with regard to thousands of children who, according to reports, have been deported to Russia and are being held in filtration camps.

International humanitarian law classifies the forced mass deportation of people during a conflict as a war crime.

We call for full clarity and independent investigation on this issue.


Various assessments from actors on the ground reveal that the top concerns for women and girls include threats to physical safety from active conflict and continual bombardment; food insecurity; lack of access to healthcare, including the full range of reproductive health services, care for survivors of rape, and mental health.

Growing evidence of sexual violence is emerging by day from de-occupied areas. We know now from the findings in the liberated towns and cities in Kyiv Oblast, that civilians have been targeted, tortured, killed on a large scale and that women and girls have been subject of rape as a weapon of war.

There have been multiple reports and accounts of Russian soldiers breaking down the doors of cellars and basement where people were sheltering and have raped women. Some of such despicable actions have taken place in front of their children.

Also, Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly reported cases of rape and sexual violence in Non-Government Controlled Areas of Ukraine. Human Rights Watch has documented alleged war crimes, including rape.

As other towns and villages remain occupied, only limited evidence reaches the outside world. What was discovered in Bucha and Irpin raises concerns for the safety of women and girls in other Russian occupied towns cut off from the outside world.

We reiterate our call for detailed investigation on what amounts to a systematic element in attacks on civilians committed by soldiers.


Conflict-related sexual violence is a despicable act, it is a war crime. All documented cases of sexual violence must undergo rigorous investigation. Accountability cannot and should not be an option but a must.

We strongly support the work of ICC, which has deployed teams on the ground for evidence collection on serious crimes, war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, including sexual abuse of women and children. We look forward to the visit of the Commission of Inquiry that will start tomorrow.

The documentation of sexual violence should be a standardized process. All must be done to collect credible, relevant, and reliable information on sexual violence in a manner that empowers survivors and strengthens accountability mechanisms.

It is vital that all efforts are made to ensure protection and the provision of life-saving and recovery services for survivors of sexual violence in Ukraine, including access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. We need to adopt survivor-centered approaches to empower the survivors and address problems related to their stigmatization.


Increased risk of vulnerability goes hand-in-hand with human trafficking.

Reports are showing that there is a high risk of trafficking for sexual exploitation at borders especially for children and young women often not accompanied by other family members.

Taking advantage of the human drama as a result of aggression, as we heard from SRSG Paton, traffickers proliferate with false promises of employment, security, stability, in all kinds of efforts to lure victims into a situation of exploitation.

Greater collaboration is needed with border agencies and government partners to strengthen prevention mechanisms.

Dear colleagues,

Ukrainian people want the war to stop. They want to return to their homes, reunite with their loved ones, rebuild their lives, safely and securely, in peace. We wish for the same.

Let’s help Ukrainians, particularly, women and girls, go from nightmares to normal lives, to dreams. Only Russian tanks, missiles and soldiers stand on their way.

This war should have never started. It must stop.

But for as long as our calls will go unheeded, we must prioritize and ensure the protection of civilians, women and children, gather evidence and ensure accountability.

One day proof will reach the court and perpetrators will be held accountable.

Thank you


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