Thank you, Foreign Minister Osmani.
Today, we mark one year since Russia’s pre-meditated, brutal and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine began. Tens of thousands have been killed. Two-thirds of Ukrainian children have been displaced. Thousands of Ukrainian women and children have been victim of sexual violence. Countless cities, towns and villages have been razed to the ground. I saw this for myself first hand during my visit to Ukraine in November. But I also witnessed the great courage, the great spirit and the willingness of the Ukrainian people to endure and adapt. Their determination to defend themselves and their land and refusal to give in is truly inspirational and a sign of unity.
We’ve seen that same spirit of unity here in the OSCE over the past year. Russia’s actions in Ukraine violate all the OSCE’s core principles: non-use of force, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. These are our core principles. But the OSCE is defending these core principles today in Ukraine and in Russia.
On the ground in Ukraine, the Moscow Mechanism, and the Ukraine Monitoring Initiative have documented the atrocities committed by the Russian forces. Reports of torture, civilian executions, and forced deportations. And of countless violations of human rights. Both the Ukrainian and Russian people have been caught in Putin’s trap. Snared by his vicious cycle of repression at home and aggression abroad. Step by step, the work of the OSCE is helping to break that cycle.
Ukraine wants peace. A just and enduring peace. Rooted in the principles of the OSCE and the UN Charter. And yesterday in the UN General Assembly we saw voted 141 votes against 7 to condemn this invasion and endorse these core principles.
Peace, stability and the adherence to international law is in the interests of all OSCE members. And indeed, it is in the interests of every nation state across the whole world and every person within it. That is why the UK stands with Ukraine. That is why all OSCE participating States should also stand with Ukraine – to achieve that just and secured peace. That is why together we must and shall persevere.