Thank you for convening this meeting. My delegation extends its appreciation to Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman for his in depth briefing.
2. Malaysia shares the grave concern as expressed by USG Feltman and other Council members on the deteriorating situation on the ground in the east of Ukraine. As expressed by the Secretary-General on 18 January, the severe escalation in fighting, especially at the Donetsk airport, has threatened to unravel the September 2014 ceasefire.
3. As an immediate step to de-escalate the situation, Malaysia calls on the conflicting parties to cease fighting and adhere to their commitments for the full implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum in their entirety. A military solution would not be sustainable and would benefit no one.
4. The Ukrainian crisis has claimed far too many casualties. Close to 5,000 people have been killed, while over 1 million people have been displaced. In a recent tragedy, Malaysia is deeply saddened by the shelling of a bus transporting civilians on 13 January 2015 in the Donetsk region, which caused the deaths of 12 and injured many more, among them women and children.
5. Malaysia calls for an independent investigation into the incident to hold the perpetrators accountable. The latest incident illustrates yet another instance of senseless killings, as the escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine claimed more and more innocent victims.
6. After the downing of MH17 which killed 298 civilians and shocked the world last summer, Malaysia was hoping that the tragic incident would push the conflicting parties to de-escalate the situation, cease fighting and engage in a dialogue to come up with a political solution to the conflict. Instead, the conflict has prolonged and intensified since then, claiming more and more casualties and causing a humanitarian crisis.
7. It is our conviction that adherence to the principles of the UN Charter is of paramount importance in maintaining international peace and security. In particular, we reaffirm our commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the principle of non-interference in its internal affairs, as espoused in the UN Charter.
8. In this regard, Malaysia condemns any threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine which had brought about the crisis, and views it is a violation of the UN Charter.
9. Malaysia calls for constructive engagement from all sides and urges the conflicting parties to continue to explore all possible avenues to find a peaceful solution. Malaysia supports every peaceful effort including international diplomatic initiatives aimed at resolving the situation in Ukraine.
10. We call on all parties to respect the rule of law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law, to act responsibly and to aim towards finding a peaceful settlement.
11. Malaysia stands ready to play a constructive role towards de-escalating the crisis and resuming talks to restore Ukraine’s stability and territorial integrity. We hope both sides would adopt a moderate approach and find a mutually acceptable solution. The interest, welfare and security of the people of Ukraine must be given top-most priority by all parties.
I thank you, Mr. President.