Statement delivered by Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN, at the Security Council Briefing on the situation in Ukraine

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November 16, 2022

Thank you, President.

I thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo for her briefing.

The missile incident yesterday in Poland, despite its origin or intentionality, is of great concern. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims of this regrettable event. The incident reminds us that the risk of escalation is real and obliges us to redouble efforts to find an urgent diplomatic solution that will put an end to the suffering of the civilian population throughout the region.

I will refer to four issues.

First, I would like to highlight the humanitarian situation. In addition to the accrued damage of the nine months of conflict, we now witness the compounded destruction of electrical infrastructure and the onset of winter. The lack of electricity compromises many other basic services. I will mention one: water supply. This creates an even higher risk for the lives and health of millions of civilians.

If the deterioration of living conditions continues, it will generate a new wave of displacements at a time when host communities are already at capacity. The figures speak for themselves: 7.8 million Ukrainians have fled their country and another 6 million are internally displaced.

In this context, humanitarian aid becomes indispensable for survival, especially for the most vulnerable. We reiterate our call to allow unrestricted access to all areas where there is civilian population, including the occupied areas – oblasts – where “martial law” has been decreed.

Although less evident, the conflict has had serious consequences on the mental health of the population. The deaths of more than 400 children and the 279 missing are a clear example of this and a dramatic glimpse of the pain that this war is causing.

Mexico reiterates the importance of including psychosocial support services in all humanitarian response strategies. The impact on mental health will be felt long after the conflict ends, so it will be essential to develop a long-term strategy to address this dimension of the conflict. A dimension as silent as it is painful.

Secondly, I will touch upon the issue of nuclear safety. The situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) remains concerning. We reiterate our call to establish a protection and safety zone around ZNPP, as proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Mexico recognizes the work of the IAEA, in particular the verification of three sites which had been pointed out by one of the Parties about activities undertaken. We note the IAEA concluded that there is no evidence of nuclear activity or undeclared materials. We will closely follow the results of the visits to other nuclear power plants, as well as to the Chornobyl site, in the coming weeks.

While the situation at the ZNPP plant is undoubtedly critical, it should be emphasized that during a conflict -such as this one- all nuclear facilities have the potential unleash a catastrophe for the population and the environment.

Thirdly, I would like to refer to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which, as was mentioned today, has been instrumental in helping mitigate food insecurity that disproportionately affects developing countries.

Therefore, it is essential that the agreement is renewed and fully implemented, included the facilitation of access to global markets of Russian food products and fertilizers, including ammonia. We recognize the efforts made by the Secretary-General to remove the immense range of obstacles faced in the exportation of these products.

The agreements have been a beacon of hope for those of us who believe in dialogue and diplomacy as means to find a solution to the conflict, despite the many differences that sometimes seem insurmountable.

Finally, President, I would point out that it is essential that international investigations to ensure accountability continue. Perpetrators of crimes in this conflict must be brought to justice. The international community owes this to the victims and their families. We will therefore follow closely the work of the International Criminal Court in this regard.

I conclude by reiterating that Mexico insists on the exploration of new formulas that could advance mediation and dialogue, to bring this war to an end. Mexico reiterates its support for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Thank you.

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