United Nations House Scotland (UNHS) and United Nations Association Scotland (UNAS) strongly condemn Russia’s decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. An act of this kind is a grave violation of international law and the United Nations Charter and will have severe humanitarian consequences for civilian populations. We call on President Putin for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine so that the conflict may be peacefully resolved to prevent further loss of life.
There have already been reports of casualties and civilians fleeing their homes in search of safety. The lives of civilians must be protected in line with International Humanitarian Law and we call on all parties to do so. The UK’s humanitarian response to the conflict is encouraging; however, we call on the UK to welcome Ukrainian refugees without discrimination and reopen visa applications for them to claim asylum. The Nationality and Borders Bill currently going through parliament threatens the ability of refugees to seek refuge in the UK. The Government must rethink this bill and establish safe and legal routes for refugees seeking protection. It is the responsibility of the UK government to do so.
UNHS and UNAS reject in the strongest possible terms Russia’s actions and language relating to the use of nuclear weapons. We urge other countries, including the UK, to refrain from retaliating with similar rhetoric. The outbreak of nuclear war will have catastrophic consequences for humanity. The international community must be fully committed to resolving the conflict through diplomatic and peaceful means and call for all parties to renounce the use of nuclear weapons in this conflict.
UNHS and UNAS stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and urge the international community to work together to do all it can to protect and support civilians. We call on neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to aid Ukrainians seeking refuge and countries everywhere to contribute to providing shelter and medical care to civilians impacted by the conflict.