The Sovereign Order of Malta renews its call for the peaceful resolution of the current conflict in Ukraine and calls on the international community to continue its efforts in seeking means and methodologies to cease hostilities and to protect the civilian population. We reiterate the call of others that diplomacy and negotiation must prevail over the use of arms, in creating a lasting and sustainable peace, while protecting core freedoms protected by the UN Charter and in keeping with basic human rights.
While we only speak for ourselves, as an international humanitarian entity we share the concerns and the anxieties of other international aid agencies, NGO’s and UN sponsored organisations, that the continuation of hostilities continues to exacerbate a major humanitarian crisis and is impacting the lives, the welfare and the right to peace and security of the entire 40 million population of Ukraine. Many human rights and aid bodies have issued statements drawing attention to the extent of that humanitarian crisis, both within Ukraine and along its borders, and we have all made a major contribution in alleviating the suffering of families, and especially children, whose lives are forever changed by the consequences of this war.
The Human Rights Council is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them. Last year it permitted 900 interventions from Permanent Observers, NGO’s and civil societies in its deliberations, many of those contributions focusing on issues that have been highlighted by the situation in Ukraine, including human trafficking, the care and welfare of refugees and internally displaced civilian populations and the plight of migrants who have nowhere to go and who end up being unwanted and exposed to abuse. Just take a step back and let us remind ourselves that a record 82 million innocent civilians have, in recent years, been uprooted by crisis, while some 41 million people in 43 countries are on the brink of famine. Wars and political conflicts, extending throughout the world, are lasting longer and are becoming more complex while the innocent are the victims and are the ones who pay the heaviest price.
Mr. President, we urge our distinguished colleagues, while deciding on weighty and consequential matters in this resolution, not to forget the raison d’etre of this august body – ensuring a peaceful and secure world. Yes, let us hear each other’s voices, but at the same time let not our voices drown out the call for peace and security heard in the anguished tones and cries of ordinary people, homeless, injured and suffering, desperate to return to ordinary lives, within the secure sovereignty of their own borders.
Thank you for your attention.