Image: Ukrainian soldiers install the state flag on Snake Island, in the Black Sea. The Ukrainian military returned the flag of Ukraine to island, which had been under the control of Russian troops for some time. (Ukrainian Defence Ministry Press Office via AP) - Photo: 2023

Time for Russia to End Continuing War Against Ukraine

The restoration of peace and international law is necessary

By Alyn Ware and Julius Brede

HAMBURG, 23 Feb 2023 (IDN) — The World Future Council is shocked and deeply saddened by Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine, which commenced one year ago, and by Russia’s grievous violations of international law in the war and their illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory.

“We call on Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine, withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory and enter into negotiations with Ukraine to resolve historical disputes and establish a lasting and just peace that guarantees the security of both nations,” says Alyn Ware, Director of the World Future Council Peace and Disarmament program and International Representative of Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace.

“Regardless of any grievances and unresolved conflicts that Russia may have with Ukraine and the United States/NATO, the use of force to resolve such conflicts is prohibited under Article 2 of the UN Charter,” adds Mr Ware. “President Putin, in launching a war against Ukraine, has committed a Crime Against Peace for which he should be held personally accountable as Head of State.”

“In addition, Russian forces have conducted a number of war crimes and severe violations of human rights in their military and administrative actions in Ukraine, for which Russian leaders should be held accountable. These include deliberate attacks on civilian infrastructure, massacres of civilians, indiscriminate attacks in densely populated areas, torture and rape of women and children, and mass deportation of Ukrainian children to ‘re-education’ camps in Russia.”

Other armed conflicts around the world also sadden World Future Council.

“War has no place in the 21st century when humanity already needs to address so many pressing issues such as climate change and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Angelina Davydova, Member of the Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Work Group and Council Member of World Future Council.

“We regret that better use is not made of diplomacy, mediation and common security approaches earlier in conflicts to address and resolve historical grievances. Common security mechanisms include the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, International Court of Justice, UN mediation services, UN Human Rights Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and others,” says international lawyer Neshan Gunasekera, Co-Chair of the World Future Council Peace and Disarmament Commission and a Director of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.

“We call on the United Nations and the international community to make better use of these common security mechanisms to address unresolved conflicts and prevent war.”

Measures to strengthen these mechanisms are being considered for the New Agenda for Peace currently being prepared by the UN Secretary-General. Opportunities to implement these measures are provided by the UN Summit of the Future: Multilateral solutions for a better tomorrow to be held in September 2024 and the Ministerial Meeting for the Summit in September 2023.

World Future Council is active in discussions on these proposed measures and on a number of civil society proposals on enhancing international peace and security, many of which will be discussed at the Global Futures Forum, taking place from March 20-21, and fed into the New Agenda for Peace and the UN Summit of the Future.

“We stand in support of people around the world who want a just and sustainable peace for current and future generations and who aspire for a world where governments no longer prepare for war with massive military spending but focus these resources instead on meeting human security needs like climate protection, public health and ending poverty,” concludes Kehkashan Basu, Founder-President of Green Hope Foundation, United Nations Human Rights Champion and the youngest Council member in the World Future Council.

Contacts: Alyn Ware +420 773 638 867 and
Julius Brede

Image: Ukrainian soldiers install the state flag on Snake Island in the Black Sea. The Ukrainian military returned the flag of Ukraine to the island, which had been under the control of Russian troops for some time. (Ukrainian Defence Ministry Press Office via AP)

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