Sierra Leone Statement at the Security Council – Threats to International Peace and Security: “Western transfer of weapons to Ukraine”

 Madam President, 

I thank you for convening this briefing. 

Let me also thank Mr. Ivor Fung, Chief, Conventional Arms Branch, Office for Disarmament Affairs for his briefing. We also note the contribution of Ms. Karen Kwiatkowski. 

As the Security Council is once more convened to deliberate on matters relating to the conflict in Ukraine, with this meeting focused on arms supply, it is regrettable that the conflict now spans over two years, and it remains a matter of serious global concern. After two years of death, destruction and suffering, the focus must now be on peace. 

 Madam President, 

Sierra Leone takes note of the differing perspectives presented on the supply of arms, prolonging the conflict, with claims of the transfer hindering potential peace initiatives on the one hand, and on the other hand, the cited imperative to protect civilians and self-defense. Given the prevailing circumstances, Sierra Leone underscores the importance of adhering to international legal frameworks in all weapon transfers. 

We reiterate that for any transfer of weapons in conflict situations to take place, it is necessary to conduct pre-transfer risk assessments and end-user verification to prevent diversion of arms and ammunition. In essence any transfer of weapons must occur within the applicable international legal framework including relevant UN Security Council resolutions. 

We continue to reiterate the risks and cost associated with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine that has led to a significant loss of life, destruction of infrastructure, and mass displacement of civilians. The alarming civilian casualty figures and humanitarian crisis, as verified by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, underscores the urgent need for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. 

Sierra Leone reiterates its commitment to upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law, emphasizing the importance of respecting national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and peaceful resolution of disputes. 

In closing, Madam President, Sierra Leone calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities, respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and genuine diplomatic efforts to achieve a lasting resolution to the conflict, taking into account the legitimate concerns of all parties involved. 

In making the call for the parties to the conflict to engage constructively in good faith with a view to finding a political and diplomatic solution as envisaged in article 33 of the UN Charter, we also reiterate our call for the full respect of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. 

I thank you. 

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