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Statement by Italy at Briefing on the Situation in Ukraine – August 24, 2023


Madame Chair,

Italy fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and would like to add some considerations in its national capacity.

I thank Undersecretary General DiCarlo for her insightful update and the briefers for their worrisome reports on the deliberate disregard of the protection of civilians and the deportation of children by the Russian Federation.

Today, the celebration of the Ukrainian Independence Day, marks eighteen months since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale, unprovoked, unjustifiable, and illegal invasion of Ukraine. And today we stand together with the Ukrainian people, more united than ever, to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to our shared values based on the rules-based multilateral order as recognized in the UN Charter.

We reaffirm our solidarity with the people of Ukraine, pay tribute to all those who have sacrificed their lives for the independence of Ukraine and express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the ongoing aggression.

On this day exactly eighteen months ago, a permanent member of this Council unilaterally violated the basic principles and norms on which the peaceful coexistence among States and this very Organization is founded. To such extent, I firmly recall the UN General Assembly’s repeatedly resounding conclusions that the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine is a violation of the UN Charter that impacts not only the people of Ukraine, but also millions of people around the world especially in the most vulnerable countries.

Thus, Russia’s unjustified withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative is completely unacceptable, so as it is the deliberate daily targeting by Russia of Ukrainian grain export. As clearly emerged in the Food System Summit +2 held in Rome few weeks ago, global concerns on systemic food security spiked after Russian decision and we call on Russia to swiftly reconsider the resumption of the BSGI.

Madame Chair,

Italy condemns in the strongest possible way Russia’s continuous inhumane and brutal attacks targeting civilian infrastructures and cities across Ukraine, and recall that indiscriminate attacks and attacks on the civilian population or civilian objects, constitute a war crime.

Italy also unequivocally condemns the forced deportation of Ukrainian children, as well as other grave violations against children committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. While joining the concerns expressed by the Secretary General in his Report on the children transferred to the Russian Federation from Ukraine, we underline that no amount of disinformation spread by the Russian Federation can deny the truth of the matter, nor shield individuals from accountability for these crimes.

Italy fully supports the humanitarian actors who are working tirelessly to ensure that children in Ukraine are protected and that vital assistance is within their reach. Rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need in Ukraine must be guaranteed. As current Chair of the Mine Action Support Group, Italy is particularly proud of the broad engagement collected in Kiev together with the UN to support the swift demining of the territory in order to prevent further humanitarian impact especially on children and to sustain Ukrainian agriculture.

Madame Chair,

There can be no peace without justice and no impunity for war crimes and other atrocities. Collectively, the UN will hold those responsible to account in accordance with international law, taking into consideration also those who are facilitating Russia’s illegal war.

With a view to a viable post-war peace settlement, Italy strongly supports President Zelensky’s Peace Plan and welcomes the recent broad commitment displayed in Jedda’s meeting of National Security Advisors from all the regional constituencies. Italy remains ready to support arrangements on sustained security and other commitments to help Ukraine defend itself, secure its free and democratic future, and deter future Russian aggression in line with its rights enshrined in the UN Charter.

Madame Chair,

Russia’s war of aggression must end. Russia can end it immediately by ceasing its attacks against Ukraine and withdrawing its forces from the territory of Ukraine.

Italy is committed to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. Support for Ukraine will be one of the key priorities of our G7 Presidency next year and we are determined to continue doing so as long as necessary aiming to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting peace.

Soon we will concentrate altogether on the reconstruction of Ukraine, including by organizing the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Italy in 2025. We will lay the foundations for a prosperous independent Ukraine within our common European family.

I thank you, Madame Chair.