Thank you, Mr President, and may I join others in expressing our heartfelt condolences to the Irish Mission and the family of Jim Kelly – he was an exceptional and much appreciated colleague, and he will be missed. Thank you.

I also thank Ms. Nakamitsu for her presentation today.

Mister President,

Just yesterday, this Council discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We have heard from UN briefers about the devastating effects on Ukraine, its people and its cities. On the region, to which 3 million refugees have fled. And on the wider international community, faced with higher economic costs and consequences for countries requiring the attention of this Council.

Today though, we had a rehash of amateur misinformation, which we discussed and debunked last Friday.

It was nonsense then, and it is nonsense now.

As I said then, Ukrainian laboratories conducting research on public health risks do not pose a threat to international peace and security.

In contrast, President Putin’s illegal and inhumane invasion of Ukraine is the most significant threat to international peace and security we face today.

So today’s charade is really not worthy of a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The only thing this Council needs to hear from the Russian Federation – we did not hear it yesterday, we did not hear it today – the only thing this Council needs hear is that Russian troops are leaving Ukraine.

Ukraine does not want war. Russians and Ukrainians – soldiers, civilians, mothers, children – are dying.

Russia is diplomatically isolated, economically isolated and mired in Ukraine.

We therefore urge Russia to stop this invasion now, before further damage is done to Ukraine – and also to Russia.

Thank you, Mr President.