Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin at the Security Council meeting

Let me express our appreciation to you, Mr. Minister and to the Kuwaiti colleagues for the proposal to address the issue of missing persons in armed conflict.

We thank the President of the ICRC and the OCHA Operations Director for their contributions to the discussion.

Over the recent 20 years, the topic of protecting civilians has taken a special place on the SC agenda. The resolution we adopted today proves this.

The Russian delegation voted in favor of the draft resolution. When doing so we were guided by the ideas of humanism and hoped that this document would be able to help the families divided by war learn about the fate of their beloved ones. Probably this document will help save someone’s lives.

We appreciate the role the ICRC plays in this area. We also believe the International Commission on Missing Persons is doing practical and demanded work, especially in terms of providing assistance to the interested States in establishing identity of missing persons.

We proceed from the universally agreed approach to the term “missing persons in armed conflict”. Such persons can be civilian, but also military, whose fate remains unknown upon termination of the conflict.

Unfortunately, it is objective reality that people go missing in any war. Reasons for that are diverse. War per se is evil. It would be an unacceptable simplification to limit the topic of missing persons in armed conflict only to the issue of international criminal liability.

Security Council Meetings on the agenda item “Protection of civilians in armed conflict” often articulate a very important point. States possess the entire international legal toolkit required to alleviate the plight of civilians during war – Geneva Conventions dated 1949 and Additional Protocols thereto dated 1977. It is all about political will to properly implement these documents.

This is fully applicable to the situation with missing persons in armed conflict.

I thank you, Mr. President.