Speaking during a UN Security Council debate in New York on Tuesday, Jacek Czaputowicz said that a ceasefire in Ukraine “is still far from implemented," Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
Chairing a UN Security Council debate on protecting civilians in armed conflicts, Czaputowicz said that the use of the veto power in the UN Security Council should be limited in cases of blatant war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, according to PAP.
In recent years “many countries have been painfully hit by military conflicts," Czaputowicz said, as quoted by PAP, listing Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
"As far as European countries are concerned, Ukraine was and continues to be an object of permanent military aggression and illegal occupation of its territory,” he said.
“Despite many efforts by the international community, a ceasefire in Ukraine is still far from implemented," he added.
He cited figures according to which 2,830 civilians have died and 25,000 have been injured during the conflict in Ukraine, PAP reported.
“Civilians often pay the highest price during conflicts," the news agency quoted Czaputowicz as saying.
"Poland believes that observance of international humanitarian law and human rights must be strengthened," Czaputowicz said, as quoted by PAP.
Poland on January 1 became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a two-year term that ends on December 31, 2019.
The country on May 1 assumed the month-long rotating presidency of the 15-member Council.
Czaputowicz in late April said that Poland’s priorities for its UN Security Council presidency included "strengthening the role of international law, promoting the effective resolution of conflicts, ensuring the protection of civilians, and emphasising the importance of humanitarian law.”
Czaputowicz's US visit followed Polish President Andrzej Duda's trip to America during which the Polish head of state chaired a UN Security Council debate last week and met Polish Americans.