Remarks by Carolyn Oppong-Ntiri, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ghana, at the UNSC Briefing on Maintenance of Peace and Security (Kakhovka Hydro Power Plant)

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June 07, 2023

Mr. President,

We thank the Under Secretary-General, Mr. Martin Griffiths for his statement and welcome the participation in this meeting of Ukraine, Poland and Latvia under Rule 37. My delegation is deeply alarmed by emerging reports of extensive damage to the Kakhovka Hydro Power Plant and its consequential flooding of several settlements in the Kherson region. We are particularly concerned by the further disruptions to the lives of civilians in the region and those that rely on the dam for energy.

We are equally concerned by the immediate and long-term ecological and economic fallouts as well as the possible risks to the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant. It is important that the circumstances surrounding the damage to the dam are independently verified to prevent future occurrences and ensure accountability where necessary. We urge restraint by the parties from further actions that could risk the safety and security of other highly sensitive infrastructure, which, if compromised, could bring catastrophic consequences for the people of Ukraine and beyond.

We further urge the parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law requiring conflicting parties to ensure distinction, necessity, proportionality, and humanity.

As we understand from the unfolding situation, many people are likely to be displaced by the flooding, and therefore, we welcome the United Nations’ immediate deployment of humanitarian support in coordination with the Government of Ukraine as indicated by the Secretary-General. In this regard, we reiterate the call for humanitarian access to all affected settlements and communities.

It is important to acknowledge that this unfortunate development is taking place in the context of the Russian Federation’s unjustified aggression against Ukraine, and without an end to the war, all other critical infrastructure in Ukraine remain at risk of accidental or deliberate damage.

Madam President,

We re-echo the appeals for peace and the immediate cessation of hostilities by the Russian Federation’s unconditional withdrawal of its troops from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine. Finally, it is my delegation’s expectation that the Council would be provided with more clarity on the situation.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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