United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Wednesday that a “general ceasefire” for humanitarian purposes “does not seem possible at the moment” in Ukraine, a goal he had entrusted to one of his envoys. to Moscow.
New York, USA | The Secretary-General specified that the United Nations is still awaiting responses from Russia to concrete proposals for the evacuation of civilians and guaranteeing the delivery of humanitarian aid to war zones.
“That’s what we were asking for, for humanitarian reasons, but it doesn’t seem possible,” Guterres said at a press conference.
Guterres recently sent the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Britain’s Martin Griffiths, to Russia and Ukraine with a mission to secure a humanitarian ceasefire.
In Moscow, the envoy met with Foreign Affairs and Defense officials to whom he presented proposals to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of civilians caught in the middle of the fighting.
Asked by AFP on whether he considers a “genocide” under way in Ukraine, as US President Joe Biden called it on Tuesday, the UN chief was careful not to use the term again.
“Genocide is strictly defined in international law. And at the UN we have the legal determination of the competent judicial bodies,” said the former Portuguese prime minister, recalling that an international investigation into the war in Ukraine was opened by the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague (Netherlands).
António Guterres also urged the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are due to hold their spring meetings soon in Washington, to release money for developing countries suffering the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to the UN, 107 countries are already suffering the repercussions of this conflict, including 69 exposed to a triple effect in the areas of food, energy resources and financial systems. Of those 69 countries, 25 are in Africa, according to the organization.
Within these multilateral institutions are monetary instruments, “the money is there and it must be used” to help minimize the consequences of war in developing countries, argued the UN secretary-general.
On February 24, Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine that has killed nearly 2,000 civilians, according to UN data, which warns that the real number is likely to be much higher.
The war caused more than 11 million people to flee, more than 4.6 million of them to neighboring countries.
The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community in general, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and reinforcing economic and political sanctions on Moscow.
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