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Thank you, Madame Chair.  I am pleased to be here on behalf of the United States to express our strong support for Ukraine and the intervention by the European Union.  President Biden said unequivocally earlier this week- the United States is always ready for diplomacy.

Unfortunately, the text of this resolution clearly seeks to undermine the UN General Assembly’s role as the institution that determines UNEP’s and the UN’s hiring practices.

The resolution also incorrectly tries to apply the concept of geographic distribution to regional groups and UNEP’s current staff composition.

Therefore, the resolution is unacceptable to us.  We believe that the Committee of the Permanent Representatives, not UNEA, is the proper forum to discuss issues related to staffing, and we recognize the Secretariat’s report and efforts to address imbalances within the Secretariat on a country-by-country basis.

Madame Chair, the United States aligns with Ukraine in the determination that there is not a path forward to consensus on this resolution.  We therefore suggest that this resolution be withdrawn from further consideration.

While U.S. opposition to Russia’s resolution is grounded in our commitment to support the United Nations as an institution, I want to strongly emphasize that the United States also stands in unity and solidarity with those facing the violence, catastrophic loss of life and suffering in Ukraine.

It is ironic that Russia is running a resolution about “compliance with principles” when its massive, unprovoked, and ongoing invasion of Ukraine rejects diplomacy and runs directly counter to international law.

We fully understand that the OECPR is a technical meeting.  However, it is also part of a larger international order designed to promote peace and stability.  Every Member State present here has the duty to uphold the principles of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

And yet, as we sit here in Nairobi, Europe faces a large-scale land war in which Russia is the sole aggressor.  The consequences of Russia’s aggression will be faced for years to come, and the international community must stand together to strongly, and publicly condemn Russia’s actions.

Thank you, Madame Chair.

U.S. Department of State

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