United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has lamented the fallout from the war in Ukraine, saying he had asked the Coordinator of the UN’s global humanitarian work to explore a possible humanitarian ceasefire with the parties concerned.
The UN official was addressing a news conference in New York on Monday.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, triggering Europe’s largest refugee crisis.
Guterres said the war has led to the senseless loss of thousands of lives, the displacement of ten million people, mainly women and children; the systematic destruction of essential infrastructure; and skyrocketing food and energy prices worldwide.
“This must stop,” the UN chief declared, adding that his organisation is doing everything to support people whose lives the war has overturned.
He disclosed that in the past month, beyond supporting refugee-hosting countries, UN humanitarian agencies and their partners have reached nearly 900,000 people, mainly in eastern Ukraine, with food, shelter, blankets, medicine, bottled water, and hygiene supplies.
Nevertheless, Guterres clarified that the solution to the humanitarian tragedy is not humanitarian but political.
As a result, he appealed for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to allow for progress in serious political negotiations at reaching a peace agreement based on the principles of the United Nations Charter.
“A cessation of hostilities will allow essential humanitarian aid to be delivered and enable civilians to move around safely. It will save lives, prevent suffering, and protect civilians,” the UN Secretary-General observed.