UN Urges Action for Russia-Ukraine Peace

UN experts urge international community to step up efforts to forge peace between Russia and Ukraine

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Top Ukrainian intelligence official Kirill Budanov has proposed a 100-km-long demilitarised zone between Ukraine and Russia [Photo: Special Arrangement]

UN experts today called for greater efforts by the international community to end Russia’s war against Ukraine in line with the UN Charter and find a path of peace without delay. They issued the following statement to mark two years since the Russian full-scale invasion:

“The lives of millions of civilians continue to be at stake. They are children, women and men who must always be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity. For them, peace is neither an empty word nor an abstract concept. It is the essential precondition for restoring normality to everyday life.

There is no normality when people are killed, tortured, forcibly disappeared, sexually assaulted, displaced, deported, arbitrarily detained, or exposed to toxic or radiological substances. There is no normality when people are in fear of constant shelling and when air raid sirens sound every day, day and night, forcing people to escape to shelters. Life is disrupted when people cannot live in their homes, use hospitals, schools and roads, or enjoy cultural heritage, because these places are under attack or destroyed. Survival is at stake when farmers are not able to work their lands because they are contaminated by landmines and explosives.

War is savagery and brutality, everywhere and in all circumstances. It affects everyone, and especially those with fragilities and vulnerabilities, such as the young and older persons.

As time passes without any prospect of peace, the trauma of war entrenches and will lead to even more suffering and devastation.

We want peace to be established without delay. War and aggression violate the basic principles of coexistence between peoples and nations, human rights and the UN Charter.

We stand ready to support all efforts of the international community aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine consistent with the principles of the UN Charter and ensuring the protection of human rights for all. Rehabilitation, recovery and redress for victims and survivors must be provided, and the rights of minorities respected.

All perpetrators, including those exercising superior authority, must be held accountable for war crimes and other atrocities which are alleged to have been committed on a large-scale. The missing and disappeared must be found, prisoners of war and others arbitrarily deprived of liberty released, and the forcibly deported, including Ukrainian children, returned home. These are necessary for peace, reconciliation and justice. 

To date, Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine has caused over 10,000 civilian deaths, an estimated 20,000 civilian injuries and an undisclosed number of combatant casualties. Some 18 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance – almost 40 percent of Ukraine’s population. This includes over three million people living in frontline communities who face severe shortages of resources and constant bombardment. While millions of people remain internally displaced in Ukraine, some 6 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have sought refuge abroad, which was one of the fastest and largest refugee exoduses in history and they currently make up the third largest refugee population in the world.

The impact of this war continues to be felt beyond Ukraine’s borders, as businesses and supply chains have been disrupted and prices of food, energy, fertiliser and other essential commodities have soared around the world, fuelling a severe global cost of living crisis.”

– UN Media

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