South Asia Peace Action Network’s Statement on Ukraine Crisis

Photo credit People attend an anti-war protest, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, February 24, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in Ukraine. © 2022 REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

27 Feb 2022: Participants at the South Asia Peace Action Network discussion on Mystics and Music: Southasia’s Legacy of Love, held virtually on 27 Feb 2022 as part of the Sapan seminar series Imagine! Neighbours in Peace, unanimously passed the resolution below on the Ukraine crisis:

Resolution on Ukraine crisis

The South Asia Peace Action Network condemns the act of war by Russia against Ukraine, in line with our point-of-view regarding all attempts at resolution of conflicts through use of force. 

We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to dialogue. 

We express full solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and stand with those around the world who are speaking up against the aggression, including the peace-loving people of Russia protesting this war.

We also call upon the Southasian governments to try to seek a common position on the evolving events in Ukraine and to urgently collaborate to facilitate evacuation of affected international students and workers in the country, including those from Southasia.

We firmly believe that war offers no solution and that the best way forward is  compromise and negotiation. We believe that safeguarding human rights and human security should be at the centre of the settlement between Russia and Ukraine. 

It is evident that policies of competitive security, one-sided military alliances, and enhanced threat perceptions that have been built up over the years have led to this situation where ordinary people are facing the brunt of war.

We believe that inclusive and common security alone can lead to sustainable peace. For a peace with justice it would be imperative to involve the leadership of Ukraine and Russia, and it is necessary that restraint be exercised by all parties including NATO. Under the current circumstances, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of which Russia is an affiliate should stand as guarantors for a peace accord.  

Amidst the escalating military crisis, we must remember the existential threats confronting the people across the globe, including increasing inequities and social injustice, the climate crisis and accelerating loss of species. For it to be possible to focus on these crises, it is essential for the world citizenry to collectively work towards the end of war and militarism.

We join peace movements and civil society around the world working for long term and irreversible peace. 

There is always room for dialogue, and we call for peace efforts to avoid further loss of lives and livelihoods in Ukraine.

— South Asia Peace Action Network (Sapan)

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