23 March 2022 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
Thank you, Mr President.
The United Kingdom welcomes the reconvening of the Emergency Special Session on the crisis in Ukraine.
Since the General Assembly last met, just over 3 weeks ago, Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked war in Ukraine has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.
Over 3 million refugees, including 1.5 million children, have fled Ukraine. Another 6.5 million have fled their homes in Ukraine.
Over 12 million require humanitarian assistance.
And, as we heard from the Secretary General yesterday, other countries too are paying a heavy price: a global food, energy and economic crisis is setting in, which alongside COVID19, risks further undermining the SDGs and creating a wider humanitarian catastrophe.
President Putin’s war against the Ukrainian people is the sole cause of this crisis.
Bombs fall on scared children. Mariupol is under medieval siege. Innocent families have been without food, water or power for days.
Essential civilian infrastructure has been targeted from the very beginning, with 62 attacks on healthcare facilities, confirmed by the World Health Organisation.
The UK is doing our part to support the Ukrainian government and people, as well as its neighbours.
We have donated over £400 million of aid for necessities and medical equipment.
The people of Ukraine are looking to the United Nations for humanitarian assistance, for an end to the war, and to defend the principle of territorial integrity and the UN Charter.
We can send a united message, we can help the people of Ukraine, we can condemn Russia’s invasion and we can reinforce the founding principles upon which the United Nations was built.
We can support a resolution which is already backed by 86 co-sponsors from across all regions.
The UK will vote with Ukraine. We urge states to do the same.
Let me finish by echoing the Secretary General’s appeal to the Russian Federation yesterday:
“How many more Mariupols must be destroyed? Continuing the war in Ukraine is morally unacceptable, politically indefensible and militarily nonsensical. It’s time to end this absurd war.”
Published 23 March 2022
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