Humanitarian issues, including in the context of armed conflict

On behalf of the United States, I have the honor to address today the human dimensions of security in the context of conflict, in particular the consequences of Russia’s illegal and relentless war against Ukraine. . The inadmissible violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty by Russia has brought death and destruction, endangered the region and the entire international community, and destroyed the fundamental principles on which this body was founded.

Recently, reports by the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, ODIHR and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have uncovered startling patterns of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including evidence of war crimes committed by members of the Russian forces. A true horror of Russia’s unwarranted war has been its barbaric screening operations and forced deportations to Russia of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens, including children. At the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield delivered a powerful intervention making it clear that Russia’s actions are aimed at “destroying Ukraine – its culture, its people, its very existence”. To better combat the devastating human toll of filtration, I hosted a meeting during UNGA’s High Level Week with a diverse group of states to share information and build common cause.

The destructive impact of Putin’s war has extended far beyond Ukraine, with 44 million people worldwide thrown into food insecurity following Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea and the looting of Ukrainian agriculture. We strongly support the UN-brokered humanitarian arrangement with Turkey to resume shipments of grain from Ukrainian ports to the world’s hungry. President Biden recently announced plans to provide an additional $2.9 billion in U.S. support for lifesaving humanitarian assistance and food security, building on the $6.9 billion in U.S. assistance already committed. this year to alleviate the global food security crisis caused by Russian aggression.

Another grim consequence of the war in Russia is the largest and fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, displacing more than 14 million people – and counting. These refugee flows, made up mainly of women and children, are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. We call on Member States to address the risks of human trafficking, train law enforcement to recognize its signs and properly screen those providing assistance.

We commend OSCE Partners such as Poland, Czechia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Germany and others for providing safe haven to this unprecedented flow of refugees. We continue to urge unimpeded access to all Ukrainian people in need, including the 2.6 million refugees in Russia and the countless number of beleaguered civilians trapped in areas of Ukraine currently under of Russia and subject to its illegal annexation. The United States has provided more than $1.5 billion in humanitarian assistance this year to those in Ukraine and the wider region, including emergency health care, food and shelter. water, among other services. As Russian aggression litters Ukraine with explosives, the United States is supporting Ukraine’s humanitarian demining efforts by providing more than $90 million in assistance over the coming year.

In conclusion, I thank the OSCE governments and civil society partners who are tackling the epic range of humanitarian problems resulting from this unjustified war. The United States will continue to partner with you and stand united with Ukraine, upholding the OSCE principles of building democratic institutions, ensuring respect for human rights, and upholding the rule of law.