Statement by the delegation of Ukraine At the 73 UN GA First Committee Thematic Debate on Conventional Arms

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine At the 73 UN GA First Committee Thematic Debate on Conventional Arms

As prepared. Check against delivery

Mr. Chair,

Ukraine aligns itself with a Joint Statement on behalf of a group of interested states on the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas [to be] delivered during this Thematic Debate.

Ukraine fully shares concerns of the international community that the illicit transfer, accumulation and misuse of conventional arms and ammunition poses serious threat for security and stability in the world. Therefore, we support global, regional and national efforts to address this challenge, including export control and boarder control measures, stockpile management, international cooperation and assistance.

At the national level, Ukraine attaches particular importance to ensuring effective export control procedures in the sphere of conventional arms. Ukraine strictly adheres to the respective resolutions and decisions taken by the UN, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the international export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement. The UN Security Council resolutions which impose arms embargo, are guidelines for the adoption of a relevant legislation in Ukraine.

We support proper implementation of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons as well as the International Tracing Instrument by all States. Ukraine welcomes the unanimously adopted outcome document of the PoA Review Conference held in June 2018 in New York. We also support and cosponsor the draft resolution “The illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its aspects” tabled this year by South Africa, Colombia and Japan.

Ukraine recognizes the important role of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in addressing post-conflict remedial measures in order to minimize the occurrence, risk and effects of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). Being a State Party to the Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention for over 10 years Ukraine acknowledges its fundamental character in minimizing the occurrence, risk and effects of landmines.

We also share the view that the UN Register on Conventional Arms continues to be an instrumental transparency and confidence-building measure in the field of the conventional arms trade.

Mr. Chair,

As in the previous 4 years, we cannot avoid raising a long-standing issue of illicit mass transfers of conventional arms to the occupied territory of Ukraine from the Russian Federation.

The Russian aggression against Ukraine with the use of its military forces armed with modern types of conventional armaments and ammunition has significantly damaged the existing system of conventional arms control. The Russian Federation continues to transfer illegally arms and ammunition and send its military personnel to our territory through uncontrolled parts of the Ukraine-Russian border, thus deliberately promoting destabilization in the region.

Another problem Ukraine has to deal with is a drastically increased number of mines and dangerous explosive remnants of war (ERW) in the occupied territory in the East. Mines and explosive devices are scattered throughout the conflict area, especially along the contact line, and cause severe threat to civilians, including children. These devices are often planted by Russia-guided armed groups in residential areas and along the routes of communication, thus posing more threat to the civil population than to military personnel.

In these extremely difficult circumstances, Ukraine is taking all possible measures to destroy and dispose explosive remnants of war in its territory. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine and other national authorities, in close cooperation with UNMAS, UNICEF, the OSCE, NATO and other international partners, are actively engaged in performing a range of demining actions on the liberated territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

We strongly hope that the Russian Federation will make steps for withdrawal of its military equipment and personnel from our territory with its subsequent de-occupation.

Thank you.