As a humanitarian organization, Oxfam is horrified by the loss of life being witnessed, and gravely concerned by the impacts of the conflict in Ukraine. We call for an immediate end to hostilities. The protection of life is of paramount importance. It is vital that civilians everywhere are safeguarded and we stand in solidarity with all those affected by violence, wherever they may be.
The protection of civilians must be assured: respect for international law and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations are vital to preserve peace. All Members of the United Nations must redouble their commitment to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered” as the UN Charter requires.
In any conflict it is always the most vulnerable people who are the worst affected. As conflict and its consequences ravage economies, it is people living in poverty, on both sides, who will lose their jobs and their access to services, and who will struggle most to cope with daily life. As ordinary men and women are pulled into a conflict they do not want, children and the elderly will be left without support.
As of today, the UN estimates that 386,000 people have already fled Ukraine into Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and other surrounding countries. Without peace, these numbers will sharply increase as people are displaced both internally and outside of Ukraine’s borders.
All people have the right to flee from conflict, and to seek asylum in safe countries. As countries bordering Ukraine receive tens of thousands of asylum seekers, Oxfam appeals to all governments to ensure that they find safe refuge. This must apply equally to all people fleeing conflict, whether from Ukraine, or to those in Yemen and Afghanistan and beyond. At moments where there is the greatest peril to human life, we must stand together in our common humanity, united in our pursuit of peace and human rights for all people.