Statement delivered by the Hon Ian Borg, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta, at the General Assembly Emergency Special Session on Ukraine

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22 February 2023


President of the General Assembly


The General Assembly is called today to focus on the principles underlying a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine. We remain gravely concerned about the ongoing war of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine,and reiterate that it is in violation of the UN Charter, its values, and the rules-based international order.

The international community is continuously horrified by the daily reports, including by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine of attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including homes, hospitals, and schools; violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, against women and children; and the use of torture.

Russia’s disregard for international law must be condemned and denounced without reservation.

Notwithstanding the bravery shown by the Ukrainian people, the Russian Federation is further pushing Ukraine into a grave humanitarian crisis. 40% of Ukraine’s population is in dire need of assistance. Nearly 8 million people have fled to neighbouring countries, and 5.3 million are internally displaced or unable to leave illegally annexed regions.

The discovery of mass graves in areas regained from Russian occupation further underlines the gravity of the situation.We reiterate that all those who commit alleged violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law must be held accountable. Maltawill continue to support all efforts by Ukraine and the international community to this end.


At every opportunity, we have emphasised the implications of this aggression on the region, the continent, and globally. We have put the spotlight on the humanitarian catastrophe that the Ukrainian people are forced to endure, and the sufferings that the war has brought to people around the world.

We must continue to call on the Russian Federation to withdraw all its forces from the territory of Ukraine without further delay and to seek a peaceful resolution of all issues in accordance with international law and the principles of the Charter.


Malta reiterates that halting this war of aggression against Ukraine at once is the only way forward. There is no other way.

Ensuring accountability for perpetrators of atrocity crimes committed and justice for victims, including victims of sexual violence and the forced deportation of children from Ukraine are a priority. We also reiterate our support to the Resolution 11/5 on the furtherance of remedy and reparation for aggression against Ukraine.


A fundamental principle in Article 2 of the UN Charter is the rejection of an international system where might is right.

All United Nations Member states today must stop, think and ponder on the gravity of the current situation and what might be the result if they don’t speak out and reaffirm by their vote the importance of safeguarding a rules based international order and the principles of the Charter.

It is our individual and collective responsibility in this particular time to fight for these principles with all our might in support of the UN Charter.

Malta therfore urges all Member States to support the draft resolution being presented before the General Assembly. Let’s vote yes for peace.

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