The UN appoints a mediator to achieve a “humanitarian ceasefire” in Ukraine

Archive - UN Secretary General António Guterres

Archive – UN Secretary General António Guterres – Marwan Naamani/dpa – File

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Grifitths has already had some contacts and plans to travel to kyiv and Moscow soon


UN Secretary General António Guterres announced on Monday the appointment of Martin Griffiths as mediator to achieve a “humanitarian ceasefire” for Ukraine.

“Today I announce that in the exercise of my good offices I have asked our global humanitarian coordinator to immediately explore with the parties involved a possible agreement for a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine,” Guterres said at a press conference.

Guterres has thus pointed out that “the solution to this humanitarian tragedy is not humanitarian, but political.” For this reason, he has called for a ceasefire “to allow progress in serious political negotiations to achieve a peace agreement based on the principles of the United Nations Charter.”

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In addition, this ceasefire “will allow essential humanitarian aid to be delivered and civilians to move more safely.” “It will save lives, prevent suffering and protect civilians,” he said.

Guterres’s envoy, Griffiths, formally holds the post of UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. Guterres himself has explained that the mediation work has already begun and that Griffiths is in Kabul, although “he has already had some contacts.” He will possibly travel to Moscow and kyiv soon, Guterres has indicated.

The head of the UN has highlighted that the speech by the leaders of Ukraine and Russia and the motions presented to the Security Council on a possible ceasefire “I think this is the moment when I think it makes sense for the UN to take The initiative”.

In addition, when asked about the possibility that the UN provide the means to guarantee compliance with the ceasefire, Guterres has indicated that “it depends on the will of the parties.”

Regarding recent comments by US President Joe Biden that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, “cannot continue in power”, Guterres has called for a reduction in tension. “We need a military de-escalation and a de-escalation of rhetoric,” he said.

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“Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, a month ago, the war has caused the loss of thousands of lives, ten million displaced people, mainly women and children, the systematic destruction of essential infrastructure and food prices have skyrocketed. and energy worldwide”, Guterres highlighted on the other hand. “This must stop,” he added, before stressing that the UN “is doing everything in its power.”

Guterres recalled that the UN humanitarian agencies have helped the countries that have welcomed the refugees, but also almost 900,000 people inside Ukraine, mainly in the east of the country, with food, shelter, blankets, medicine, bottled water. and hygiene supplies.

“Right now there are more than 1,000 UN workers in the country working through eight humanitarian centers in Dnipro, Vinnitsa, Lviv, Uzgorod, Chernivtsi, Mukachevo, Luhansk and Donetsk”, Guterres highlighted, mentioning in particular the work of the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Outside Ukraine, Guterres recalled that the war has “global consequences” that could aggravate “hunger” in countries already beset by recovery from the pandemic.


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