The Group of 78 is deeply concerned about the tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine. The loss of life on both sides of the conflict and the precedent that this conflict is setting is extremely troubling on a human, regional, and global level. The Group of 78 calls on all actors and on the Government of Canada to work with all parties, and to accelerate the arrival at a negotiated peaceful end to this conflict.
The Group of 78 condemns the illegal invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the significant loss of life among civilians in Ukraine, and all war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine. We call on Russia to withdraw all its forces from Ukraine. These acts are in clear contravention of international law, as was made clear in the United Nations General Assembly resolution dated March 2, 2022, and as made clear by the International Court of Justice on March 16, 2022.
The Group of 78 calls on all sides to work urgently to reach an immediate ceasefire. We call on all to ease tensions, cease the threat to use nuclear weapons, bring down the rhetoric, and contribute to a constructive peacebuilding process.
It is imperative that the current peace negotiations be expedited and that a peaceful end to the violence is quickly reached. It is an obligation on the part of all UN Members, under the United Nations Charter, to end the war.
The Group of 78 recognizes that Ukraine, which has been experiencing a long period of internal political conflict and an active and often deadly internal armed conflict in the Donbas region, has not fully abided by the Minsk II agreement of 2015, and has significant work to do to ensure that its Russian-speaking population is treated equally and fairly. The Group of 78 also recognizes that external actors have contributed to the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region by using this conflict to increase their own power and influence.
The Group of 78 recognizes that the trajectory that this conflict has taken has been directly related to the history of meddling on the part of several international actors in Ukraine’s internal affairs and this includes the resort to double standards and volatile rhetoric. This involves, among other things, the interference by Russia in the internal affairs of Ukraine with regard to the plight of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, the meddling by the United States in the events prior to the deposition of the Ukrainian president in
2014, and the eastward expansion of NATO that has occurred over a thirty-year period. All of this history has built up obstacles to the peaceful resolution of this conflict.
The Group of 78 also rejects collective punishment through sanctions that severely impact ordinary Russians who are not responsible for the actions of their president and government. Similarly, we are gravely concerned about the sanctions’ impact on the most vulnerable in the Global South.
The Group of 78 calls on the Government of Canada to do what is necessary to support a peaceful resolution of the conflict, including the potential provision of security guarantees if agreed and to undertake a responsible and balanced approach to ensure stability returns to the region, while recognizing Ukraine’s rights as a sovereign and independent state.
In summary, the Group of 78 calls on:
- The Russian Federation to end the attack on, and withdraw its forces from, Ukraine,
- The United Nations to increase its determination in finding a peaceful resolution of this conflict, and to coordinate with member states the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians who have been victims of the military campaign,
- The international community to put an end to punitive sanctions where they are severely affecting ordinary Russians and the most vulnerable in the Global South,
- Canada and other European countries to indicate their willingness to provide security guarantees in respect of the Ukraine-Russia peace deal, if agreed,
- European countries, through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, to renegotiate security mechanisms in the region to address security concerns of all members,
- The United Nations to press for and support Ukrainian and Russian efforts at resolving the status of Crimea and the Donbas region.