UN GA Statement - Situation in the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine
Statement24 February 2022
Thank you Mr Vice President,
I want to begin by expressing Ireland’s full support for the statement delivered earlier today by the Delegation of the European Union.
We meet today at a critical moment for Ukraine and its people. This is a challenging time too for peace and security in Europe, for the United Nations and the rules-based international order on which it was founded.
Ireland believes in, and is fully committed to, the core principles enshrined in the UN Charter, the cornerstone of the United Nations. This includes the sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States; the obligation of all States to refrain from threatening, or using, force against another State; and the obligation to resolve disputes by peaceful means to ensure international peace and security.
Ireland’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and its right to choose its own foreign and security policy path is unwavering.
The decision on Monday by the Russian Federation to proceed with the recognition as independent entities of the non-governmental controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine contravenes international law. It is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and marks a clear and unilateral breach of the Minsk Agreements.
We urge the Russian Federation to reverse this recognition decision immediately, and to refrain from further escalatory, unilateral actions which serve only to further raise tensions.
Mr Vice President, the world is watching and what is needed now is calm, de-escalation and the pursuit of diplomacy.
We call for constructive and determined engagement on all dialogue tracks, including the Normandy Format, the Trilateral Contact Group and the OSCE.
All signatories of the Minsk Agreements agreed on the need for the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission’s safe and secure access to the entire territory of Ukraine. The mandate of the SMM was agreed by all 57 OSCE participating States. At this sensitive time, it is imperative that the SMM be given the full access agreed in its mandate.
As we respond to the alarming developments of recent weeks in Eastern Ukraine, we also recall that we meet today to discuss the wider situation pertaining to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which has been violated by the Russian Federation this week for the second time in ten years.
In line with our respect for the fundamental principles of international law, Ireland does not recognise the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, nor any political structure created on the basis of this attempted annexation.
Mr Vice President,
Eastern Ukraine has already endured 8 years of conflict, resulting in humanitarian disaster, serious human rights violations and abuses as reported by the OHCHR. We recall the responsibility of all States to fully abide by their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights law.
Ireland echoes the Secretary-General’s call for dialogue when he stated clearly, and I quote, that “there is no alternative to diplomacy. All issues can and must be addressed and resolved through diplomatic frameworks.”
Wherever conflict occurs, it is civilians who pay the terrible price. The people of Ukraine deserve to live their lives in peace, free of the misery and destruction which 8 years of conflict have already wrought. Ireland calls on all sides to work urgently for a peaceful resolution of this conflict.