Thank you, Mr President.
I thank the Secretary-General and Ambassador Zlauvinen for their important briefings today.
Mr. President, dialogue and cooperation are essential components of settling disputes and building peace and security. In this Council, we have seen significant positive examples in recent months.
In Yemen, sustained efforts, including Council members and regional actors, have brought us to an uneasy truce.
On Somalia, cooperation within the Council and the African Union has led to the creation of a new mission, the AU Transition Mission in Somalia.
But dialogue can only guarantee our collective security if it is accompanied and supported by States that support the international system that protects us all. This must begin with the Charter as the guarantor of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.
Today, no one disputes the most serious threat hanging over the common security system enshrined in the United Nations. Russia, a permanent member of this Council, has torn up the Charter and flouted the rules that underpin international peace and security. It undermines the whole system that we are all here to defend.
To ensure all of our security – and the system we all rely on – we must hold to account states that transgress universally accepted norms, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity. If we accept that a large country can simply invade its small neighbor, we return to the dark days of human suffering and wider international instability and conflict.
That is why we call – once again – on the Russian Federation to end its illegal invasion of Ukraine and to withdraw its forces.
With the global system under threat, we must do everything in our power to avoid nuclear escalation. The NPT remains a cornerstone of the global security architecture at this time. And the only path to our common goal of complete nuclear disarmament.
The joint statement on this in January by the P5 leaders was an important signal of the willingness to work together to reduce risk and build trust.
And in this context, we thank Mr. Zlauvinen for his tireless work as President of the NPT Review Conference. The UK remains firmly committed to its goals and to working with other states to ensure the implementation of the NPT and other treaties.
We therefore echo the Secretary-General’s concern about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. He has our support in efforts to defuse the situation. We also stress the importance of an IAEA expert mission to address nuclear safety, security and safeguards concerns, in a manner that fully respects Ukrainian sovereignty over its territory and infrastructure.
The Charter of the United Nations and the international security architecture that we have collectively built are crucial for all our countries. Let us stand for this, together, to ensure a world in which all sovereign states can ensure the security of their people and the integrity of their territory.