Amid Ukraine conflict, UN chief initiates humanitarian ceasefire efforts
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted that the key to the humanitarian tragedy is not humanitarian; it is political.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday initiated efforts to quickly explore arrangements for a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine to allow aid delivery while also paving the way for serious political talks to end the country's month-long conflict. As per the Associated Press, since Russia launched a war in Ukraine on February 24, the UN's humanitarian agencies and partners have provided food, shelter, water, and hygiene supplies to nearly 900,000 people, primarily in eastern Ukraine.
He added that thousands of lives had been lost in vain, ten million people had been displaced, and homes, schools, hospitals, and other facilities had been systematically destroyed.
Guterres highlighted that the key to the humanitarian tragedy is not humanitarian, it is political. He appealed for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to allow for progress in serious political negotiations, sought at reaching a peace agreement.
The UN secretary-general has asked undersecretary-general Martin Griffiths to examine the potential of the ceasefire, AP reported. Antonio Guterres stated that he hoped that the (Griffiths) would be able to visit Moscow and Kyiv soon. It's extremely important to establish a serious dialogue with both parties in relation to the possibility of this humanitarian ceasefire.
Earlier, the UN general assembly had called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine twice, on March 2 and on March 24. The stop of hostilities, according to Guterres, will allow humanitarian aid to be delivered and people to travel freely; it will also save lives and protect people.
Overall, 1,119 civilians have lost their lives in the Ukraine war, and closely 1,800 have been injured as per the UN. The Russian administration has stated that the talks between Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be possible only when key concerns in a potential peace settlement between the two nations have been resolved.
Both Moscow and Kyiv have held numerous rounds of talks to come up with a political solution to conclude the conflict. However, the talks have remained unsuccessful, and prospects of the Ukraine war concluding soon appear hopeless. On Tuesday, another round of talks is to be held in Turkey.