At the outset, I would like to thank the United Kingdom for convening this important and timely debate.
Ukraine fully shares the common vision that “sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security; and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development”. Indeed we will not enjoy development without security, we will not enjoy security without development, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights, as articulated in the momentous report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change “A more secure world: Our shared responsibility”.
Despite intensified efforts in the area of conflict prevention and the strengthening of the relevant normative framework at the regional and global levels, there is a clear gap between discourse and practice. Today, over 60 million people worldwide are displaced by wars and do not enjoy the standards of living and social protection that peaceful and safe societies should provide. What we witness in recent years is an upsurge in violent conflicts and an ever growing need for urgent humanitarian assistance.
While Ukraine shares the idea that conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts must be nationally driven and nationally owned, the transnational nature of present-day security threats often makes it difficult for states to protect themselves by acting entirely on their own. An effective and efficient collective security system able to address the root causes of those threats is essential, with the UN and SC at the centre.
Interconnected security and development challenges require a more integrated approach to conflict prevention which strengthens coherence between political, security, development, human rights and rule of law activities. Moreover, the complexity of emergencies that the Security Council addresses requires the consideration of relevant economic, political and social dimensions of conflict.
Therefore, Ukraine believes that the recognition of the need for the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Secretary-General to coordinate their activities within their respective Charter mandates, as stated in the 2005 World Summit Outcome, is even more relevant today. Strengthened coordination will ensure that development and security-related activities are mutually reinforcing.
It is critically important to identify the root causes of conflicts at the early stage. In today’s world it is not only internal socioeconomic development challenges or external competition for natural resources that could lay the foundations for conflicts’ eruption. We believe that it is also the neglect to the UN Charter Purposes and Principles, international law, and essential principles of territorial integrity and respect of sovereignty of other countries.
In this context the Russian aggression in Ukraine is yet another proof that the Council should play more proactive role in conflict prevention.
We are sure that sustainable development is not achievable where explosions are heard and civilians are killed. It is not achievable where aggressive ideologies advocating suppression of some nations by other nations reign and key human rights and freedoms are violated.
As a result of Russia’s treacherous annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea and its aggression in the Ukrainian Donbas region, more than eight thousand people have been killed. Critical infrastructure has been ruined; Ukraine has been deprived of about one fifth of its economic potential.
The external aggression has led to the emergence of a new form of poverty – sudden or unexpected poverty – that affects lives of more than 1.5 million of internally displaced persons in Ukraine. Each day of the war in Donbas costs us around 5 million US dollars that we could have invested into sustainable development. And the crisis with internally displaced persons - 1.5 million people - is one of most pressing problems not only for Ukraine, but also for the whole region.
Ukraine aspires to peace and prosperity and, together with partner states, exerts maximum efforts to settle the conflict by peaceful diplomatic means. After putting an end to the military aggression, establishing peace and restoring Ukraine’s full sovereignty over Donbas region and Crimea, we’ll focus on bringing millions of people back to a normal life, restoring economic and social infrastructure on the basis of sustainable development. Ukraine stands ready to accomplish this uneasy task and calls upon all international partners to cooperate towards this end.
We welcome the commitment of the Security Council to enhance dialogue and foster more unity among Council members. Ukraine believes that the improvement of the quality of interaction on conflict prevention will boost the effectiveness of the Council’s work. I would like to emphasize that preventive diplomacy is our common goal. If we wish to achieve sustainable development, it is crucial that all Member States recommit themselves to the principle of conflict prevention.
We must stay united in our peacebuilding efforts. A system-wide effort and the support of the entire membership are critical for effectively addressing the interdependence between peace, security and development. Ukraine is committed to making its contribution to achieving sustainable peace for development, including as one of the newly elected SC non-permanent members for 2016-2017.