Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha, Permanent Representative of Albania, at the Security Council meeting on Ukraine

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November 16, 2022

Thank you, Mr. President,

Thank you, USG DiCarlo, for your comprehensive update.

Here we are with another meeting on Ukraine and yet, after 9 months of brutal war, we continue to deplore loss of innocent life, countless unnecessary fatalities, widespread human misery, massive destruction, food insecurity and a world order shaken to its core.

In a normal life, nine months is the period humans need to bring a baby to life. Russia has used it to make a disaster of terrible proportions, including by making normal life impossible to all, including to babies born in Ukraine since the 24th of February.

For what reason?

For a dream that has turned into a nightmare; for a miscalculation that has become an obsession!

Mr. President,

What some have feared and other have unanticipated happened yesterday.

A missile landed in a farm in Poland, killing two people. It landed roughly at the same time as a barrage of Russian missiles attacked Western Ukraine.

A full investigation is underway and we look forward to its conclusions. But this doesn’t change anything to the core issue: for as long as the war goes on, we run the risk of spill over, by accident or intention. This incident should be a stark reminder that those who engage into the path of unnecessary reckless escalation will have consequences.

We know, the world knows, that the consequences of the war are not limited to Ukraine only. Moldova has already complained about the effect of Russian missiles fired close to its borders and parts of its territory are experiencing power outages as a result of Russia’s missiles hitting Ukrainian cities & vital infrastructure.

We present our condolences to the families of the victims and to the peoples of Poland and Ukraine.

We reiterate our full and unwavering solidarity with Poland just as with every other NATO member. Let’s make it clear: this is not a war between Russia and NATO, nor is it between Russia and the West. It has never been, despite Kremlin’s propaganda to justify its debacle.

It is and remains a war of choice, a pure act of unprovoked aggression, an attempt for territory grab.

This war must end, not expand. Russia started it; Russia must put an end to it, and this is long time past due.

Mr. President

Yesterday, President Zelenskyy proposed a 10-point peace plan at the G20 summit in Indonesia, demonstrating leadership again by making clear he is prepared for diplomacy to end the unjust and unjustified war. The plan includes a path to nuclear safety, food security, a Special Tribunal for war crimes, and a final peace treaty with Russia.

The staggering response was, alas but not surprising, another wave of missiles, its biggest in more than a month, targeting again residential areas and power infrastructure in several regions of the country, with the aim to destroy essential utilities, such as electricity, water and gas infrastructure across Ukraine. As the winter gets colder, more than seven million Ukrainians are left without power and the supply of electricity in a critical condition.

In this case, there is no error, looks more like terror.

Unable to prevail on the ground, Russia has decided to weaponize everything, including weather, with the intention to freeze an entire nation to submission. But it seems they fail to understand that in this fight Ukraine has nothing more to lose. The heroic resistance of brave Ukrainians has clearly made it impossible for Russia to win, unattainable to advance, incomprehensible to acclaim.

Mr. President,

Russia decided to withdraw its troops from Kherson. It was not the first of such sudden reversals. They did so early this year from the surroundings of Kyiv.

No one, including in Russia, is buying anymore the camouflaged language. The so-called special operation cannot conceal the fiasco, and the retreat cannot hide the defeat.

Only a few weeks ago, on 30 September, the Kremlin proclaimed Kherson to be “Russian forever”. Now, a few weeks later, it is just turned to what is should be: “never”.

A wiser decision would be for Russia to come to senses, cease all hostilities and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine.

Let me reiterate that any annexation of territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law, and will not be accepted.

Mr. President,

The Russian Federation continues to violate and blatantly ignore international law. USG DiCarlo mentioned key some aspects. The use of missiles, drones, explosive weapons in populated areas are prohibited by international law, including by binding resolutions of this Council that Russia has voted for.

Violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention of civilians, torture and ill-treatment, of both civilians and prisoners, cases of conflict-related sexual violence, have become widespread and are now well documented.

These gross violations will not go unpunished. Victims and their family members seek justice and accountability.

Russia may continue to block the Council but, as we have seen repeatedly and convincingly, including last Monday, they will not manage to veto the decisions of the UNGA and other initiatives to seek and ensure reparations and accountability.

Mr. President,

We reiterate our strong support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative. We reiterate our call for its extension beyond 22 November to keep this vital food supply line open to the rest of the world. Its impact is known and felt worldwide and any other decision would be a cynical punishment of those in dire need.

Mr. President,

Let me conclude by reminding that the toll of the war is already frightening.

With every day going on, the toll will be heavier, for all, including for Russia itself.

In the course of the past nine months, nothing has gone according to the plan in Ukraine.

For the simple reason that the Russian plan was wrong, the intention behind reprehensible, and the reality has proved disastrous.

It is time to change course, silence the guns, pack and go home, talk peace not war.

Thank you.



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