Stop War: Act for Justice, Climate and Peace TOU

Stop War: Act for Justice, Climate and Peace

 TOU

Stop War: Act for Justice, Climate and Peace

Armed Conflict, Crime & Justice, Featured, Global, Headlines, Human Rights, Humanitarian Crisis, Peace, TerraViva United Nations Opinion

Migration of a family from Irpin, Kiev region, Ukraine. Credit: UNICEF / Julia Kochetova

London / Johannesburg, 15 April 2022 (IPS) – Russia’s war in Ukraine has left many communities devastated. In a world plagued by multiple crises such as inequality and increasing climate change, this conflict is being torn apart by communities.

Millions have been directly affected. They face delicate circumstances, including the loss of loved ones, loss of livelihood, displacement, destruction of homes, disruption in education and much more.

The conflict has also placed a heavy new burden on the multilateral system, further halting progress toward the achievement of sustainable development goals already rearranged by the negative effects of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Representatives of civil society in both Ukraine and Russia have expressed their deep concern over the unnecessary suffering caused by the war. In Ukraine, they are responding significantly to the situation, from documenting war crimes and gathering information on missing persons to urging international organizations to comply with their obligations on peace and accountability.

In Russia, civil society has exposed media restrictions that have helped create a vague nightmare while protesting against the injustices of war.

The effects of this conflict are being felt far away from the battlefields. Disruptions in international trade fuel global inflation and food insecurity that disproportionately affects the poor and marginalized.

In this scenario, civil society groups across all continents have come together to support a five-point call for action by the Action for Sustainable Development Coalition.

The message to the international community is simple:

We call for an immediate end to the war in Ukraine, a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces and the lifting of all sanctions in accordance with the agreed timeline. The devastation of many cities and the killing of innocent civilians and civic infrastructure cannot be justified.

Furthermore, it is unacceptable and inadequate that so far only a handful of men – and apparently no women – seem to be involved in peace talks.

We call on the representatives of civil society and directly affected people, especially from Ukraine and Russia, and especially women, to be involved in the peace talks.

    2. Respect international human rights

We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Citizens’ rights must be respected. After more than a month of conflict, humanitarian effects have led to mass displacement of people, loss of life and livelihood. We are deeply concerned that this serious violation of international law will have an extremely adverse effect on security and democracy in Europe and the world.

We also call for respect for human rights in Russia. Many Russians have stood up to condemn the violence and their voices should be heard. Peaceful protest should be recognized as a legitimate form of expression.

We call for full respect for human rights in Ukraine and Russia, including international human rights and civil liberties.

    3. Stop militarism and aggression around the world

The rise of militancy and conflict is not limited to Russia. It is part of a growing list of armed conflicts. Violence in all its forms – dictatorship, corruption and repression – affects the lives of millions of people around the world and violates the human rights of young and old in countries including Afghanistan, Brazil, the Central African Republic, Colombia and El Salvador. Ethiopia, Guatemala, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Palestine, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, to name a few.

These conflicts often affect communities already living with fragile infrastructure and the devastating effects of climate change. All conflicts should be treated with the same level of concern. The lives of everyone affected by conflict are of equal value.

We call for an equal level of support to end the conflict and ensure financial assistance for people displaced by all conflicts and refugees.

    4. Shift military funding into a just and sustainable future

The war in Ukraine has already had a devastating effect on the world economy, especially in the southern hemisphere. Large disruptions and significant increases in energy and production costs are expected, and food costs will increase. At the same time the budget is being redirected to military spending.

Russia’s militarism is fueled by fossil fuels and therefore it is important to prevent investment in fossil fuels and immediately convert them to renewable energy. In order to cope with the climate crisis, it is imperative that we reduce oil and gas consumption and increase investment in renewables, and that we do so immediately.

We call for a definite commitment at the UN to reduce spending on military conflicts and to reinvest these costs on social security and clean energy.

    5. Establish the Global Peace Fund

We call on the member states to remember the founding vision of the UN and its Security Council, to deliver the main cause that was created: to avoid any kind of war and suffering of mankind.

The 2030 Agenda paves the way for a peaceful, just, sustainable and prosperous world. Many more ambitious steps and actions should be taken to ensure that its goals and objectives are met.

We call on member states to establish a global peace fund to strengthen the role of international mediators and peacekeepers. The UN should take action!

The international community cannot be a bystander in Ukraine or any other conflict. We all have a responsibility to protect universal human rights and humanitarian principles by working against all forms of cruelty and injustice.

Link to full statement here:
https://action4sd.org/2022/04/04/statement-of-solidarity-with-civilian-populations-and-a-call-for-a-negotiated-end-to-the-war-in-ukraine/

It was Heinmann The Action for Sustainable Development Coalition is the global coordinator in London. Lisa John He is the Secretary General of CIVICUS, a global civil society organization based in Johannesburg.

IPS UN Office

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