We Should take up China’s offer to facilitate dialogue for peace

In just 10 days, the Ukraine – Russia conflict has disquietingly deepened and escalated in violation of the UN Charter, Ukraine’s territorial integrity and international law, producing thousands of casualties, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and over 1.5 million Ukrainians fleeing the country. Ukraine’s sovereignty as an independent state has been threatened and the nuclear spectre reappeared as a menace for all, with the sanctions imposed on Russia considered an act of war by Mr. Putin.

As the world continues to seek ways of addressing this most serious and dangerous conflict, steps recently outlined and proposed through a joint statement of the Russia – NATO Military Risk Reduction Dialogue –  immediate and unconditional ceasefire, coordinated de-escalation, urgent humanitarian cooperation, utmost nuclear responsibility and restraint, and the avoidance of military incidents through direct contact between the military forces, en route to a negotiated political settlement – are straight-forward, sensible and essential.

It is vital that we initiate and sustain concrete efforts to restore peace and People’s Republic of China Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s latest statement, calling on all parties to settle disputes by peaceful means, through dialogue and negotiation, and to “…respect and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.” provides a unique opportunity to do so.

Foreign Minister Wang has observed that the legitimate security concerns of all parties must be protected, noting that “…long-term peace and stability of the region [requires] a  …balanced, effective, and sustainable European security architecture.”

We welcome China’s offer to play a constructive role to facilitate dialogue for peace in Ukraine and the region and to work alongside the international community to carry out necessary mediation. In this sense, we stand ready to support China’s efforts from Club de Madrid.

Danilo Türk

President of Club de Madrid

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