Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Meeting on Ukraine, 25 April 2019

Mr President,

We note that today’s discussion is taking place as requested by Ukraine in its letter dated 24 April 2019.

At the outset we wish to thank the briefers for their briefings on the current situation in eastern Ukraine.

It is clear from the briefings and recent developments that there remains an urgent need for the immediate cessation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

The on-going tensions and conflict will continue to exacerbate the humanitarian conditions on the ground. In this regard, it is important that the parties ensure that there is an urgent de-escalation of tensions, to allow a situation that is conducive for the alleviation of the humanitarian crisis.

In order to make meaningful progress, it remains necessary that all the parties fully implement all of their respective commitments under the Minsk Agreements. At this point, the Minsk agreements, including the package of measures agreed under Minsk II, provide the most promising roadmap for the peaceful settlement of the hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

Mr President,

South Africa notes recent tensions between the parties. It is of critical importance that the parties refrain from actions that could escalate tensions and further destabilise the situation on the ground.

Furthermore, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has played a critical role in the region. It therefore remains important that the Mission continues its work with unhindered access to monitor and verify compliance with the Minsk agreements in line with its mandate.

Mr President,

South Africa encourages all the parties to strengthen all diplomatic efforts to produce an inclusive, sustainable and peaceful solution based on cooperation and dialogue.

I thank you.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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