War in Ukraine threatens to spark a global arms race

The Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, warned the Security Council that, more than 500 days after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, life in Ukraine remains “hell”, as the General secretary.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 9,287 civilians have been killed and 16,384 injured, most under fire from the Russian armed forces.

According to reports, Ukraine was the country with the highest number of children killed and maimed in 2022. To date, 537 children have been killed and 1,117 injured.

“These are only confirmed figures. The real number of victims is likely to be considerably higher,” DiCarlo said, assuring that “no place is safe” in the country, and referring to bombings that took place in cities such as Kramatorsk, Kiev, Odesa and Lviv as well as in the communities in the Sumy and Orikhiv region, the latter under Russian control.

DiCarlo noted that attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, wherever they occur, are “indefensible and strictly prohibited under international law,” and reminded the parties involved that they have the responsibility to avoid actions that could further aggravate tensions.

Ruins in the city of Nicolaiev.

Mayor of the city of Nicolaiev/Valery Fedchenko

Ruins in the city of Nicolaiev.

Any nuclear threat is unacceptable

The deputy general secretary described as inadmissible any threat to use nuclear weaponsas well as endangering the safety of nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure.

DiCarlo reported that, in recent days, experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency they heard a series of explosions that appeared to have taken place some distance from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

“This is a stark reminder of the potential risks to nuclear safety that the installation faces during the military conflict in the country”, he stated.

Humanitarian aid continues

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners have provided helps more than five million people in so far this year.

However, Lack of humanitarian access to Russian-controlled areas persistsdepriving some 3.7 million people of assistance, so DiCarlo urged Russia to honor its international obligations to grant humanitarian access.

One of the most mined countries in the world

DiCarlo reported that, to date, more than 6.3 million Ukrainians are refugeesand an estimated 5.1 million people are internally displaced.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, voluntary return is not yet possible given the security situation.

“Ukraine has become one of the most mined countries in the world,” DiCarlo said, adding that the UN is helping to remove more than half a million landmines and unexploded ordnance, allowing four million people to return. to their homes.

A kyiv resident waits to leave the city with her family, heading towards Lviv.

A kyiv resident waits to leave the city with her family, heading towards Lviv.

Human rights violations

For its part, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights documented violations of fundamental rights, such as the deprivation of life, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment, and sexual violence related to the conflict.

According to the latest report of the Office, the Russian Federation arbitrarily detained 864 people. More than 91% of detained civilians were subjected to torture or ill-treatment, including sexual violence; and more than 26% were transferred to other places, in violation of international law. The report also warns of an alleged summary execution of 77 detained civilians.

For its part, the Office documented 75 cases) of arbitrary detention by Ukrainian security forces, mostly of people suspected of conflict-related criminal offences. In 57% of cases, it documented the use of torture and ill-treatment.

“We ask that you put end arbitrary detention of civilians and that all those arbitrarily detained be immediately and safely released. Victims must have effective remedies,” DiCarlo requested.

He also urged the Russian authorities to ensure regular access to detainees by independent observers.

Fundraising for the recovery of Ukraine

DiCarlo reported that the Ukraine Recovery Conference, held in London in June, raised more than 60,000 million dollars for the reconstruction of the country. In this regard, the United Nations will continue to support national and international partners in ongoing recovery efforts, following the principles of “building back better” and “leaving no one behind,” he noted.

Imminent deterioration of food security

On the other hand, DiCarlo echoed the Secretary General’s words today, warning that Russia’s decision to end the Black Sea Initiative “will deal a heavy blow to people in need around the world.”

In this regard, the World Food Program predicts that by 2023, 345 million people in 79 countries will experience acute food insecurity. Additionally, up to 40.4 million people in 51 countries face severe hunger emergencies if they do not receive immediate help.

Joint inspection teams worked under the Black Sea Grains Initiative.

Joint inspection teams worked under the Black Sea Grains Initiative.

At risk of an arms race

Finally, DiCarlo called for an end to an “incomprehensible and absurd” war, which “has increased tensions in different regions and risks triggering a global arms race.”

“The war threatens to undermine the very structures that prevented a third world war and helped us resolve multiple conflicts over the past 80 years. The longer this war lasts, the more dangerous its consequences will be.including the possibility of a broader conflict,” he concluded.

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