16.6 C
Saturday, May 28, 2022

Guterres expresses solidarity as Moldova grapples with fallout of Russia’s war in Ukraine

United Nations News
United Nations Newshttps://www.un.org
United Nations News - Stories created by the News services of the United Nations.

More from the author

African nations leading the way on ‘food systems transformation’: Guterres 

African nations leading the way on ‘food systems transformation’: Guterres 

African countries are at the vanguard of a vital transformation of food systems to simultaneously address food security, nutrition, social and environmental protection – all while boosting resilience – said the UN chief on Thursday. 
‘Don’t work for climate wreckers’ UN chief tells graduates, in push to a renewable energy future

‘Don’t work for climate wreckers’ UN chief tells graduates, in push to a renewable...

Today’s college graduates can become the generation to succeed “where my generation has failed” the UN chief said on Tuesday, urging the class of 2022, not to work for “climate wreckers” in industries that continue to profit from fossil fuels.
World’s richest countries damaging child health worldwide: UNICEF

World’s richest countries damaging child health worldwide: UNICEF

Over-consumption in the world’s richest countries is creating unhealthy, dangerous, and toxic conditions for children globally, according to a new report published on Tuesday by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  
Middle East and North Africa: addressing highest rates of youth unemployment in the world

Middle East and North Africa: highest youth unemployment rates in the world

To addressing youth unemployment, more than 33 million new jobs need to be created by 2030 in the Middle East and North Africa region by 2030, if the world’s largest unemployment hot spot is to be substantially improved, four United Nations agencies said on Monday.

DISCLAIMER: Information and opinions reproduced in the articles are the ones of those stating them and it is their own responsibility. Publication in The European Times does not automatically means endorsement of the view, but the right to express it.

Moldova, the most fragile of war-torn Ukraine’s neighbors, needs and deserves massive support to match its generosity as a recipient of nearly half a million refugees, and to preserve its own stability, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau, the UN chief said: “Moldova is not just another country receiving refugees … I am deeply concerned about the continuation and possible spread of the war Russia is waging in Ukraine, and by the impact it is having not only in the region but around the world.”  

“The United Nations is committed to supporting not only the people of Ukraine, but also the people of Moldova during these difficult times,” said Mr. Guterres, adding: Your sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and the solid progress you have made over the past three decades, must not be threatened or undermined.”    UN Photo/Mark Garten

Secretary-General António Guterres meets with Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița of Moldova.

‘Refugees live with the families of Moldovans’ 

The United Nations started a large-scale operation meant to render assistance to residents of Ukraine, including those on the territory of Moldova: at the border crossing in Palanca refugees are greeted by UN staff who help them find their bearings and to decide what to do next, render material and legal support and provide them with basic necessities. 

“But obviously, that is not enough. We need to do much more,” stressed the Secretary-General at the start of his two-day visit to the country. 

“It was not easy for the UN to readapt to a humanitarian crisis in Europe. Here, we don’t have the traditional forms of humanitarian support in crisis areas of the developing world, in fragile States,” continued Mr. Guterres, adding that in Moldova, there are no refugee camps: Moldovans are opening their homes to Ukrainians. 

The UN has rearranged its ways of working to meet these realities and is currently scaling up its most effective programmes, including for providing cash-assistance. The UN chief said people should be trusted to know what their needs are.  

The UN plans to provide such assistance to 90,000 refugees and 55,000 of the families that that take them in. 

War’s impact ripples through region’s fragile economies  

Moldova is a small European country with “fragile economy”. It is landlocked, and the Odessa port, through which it ships its merchandise to the world market, is closed due to the war.  

Furthermore, Moldova is not just the country that opened its doors to displaced persons, like many of its neighbors: in ratio to the size of its population, it has taken in the highest number of Ukrainian refugees since the start of the Russian invasion.  

While calling for “massive support” to match Moldova’s generosity, the Secretary-General stressed that other neighbouring countries like Moldova are already struggling with the socio-economic ramifications of this war coming on top of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uneven global recovery.    

In light of these and other pressing concerns, the UN chief urged Kyiv and Moscow to “step up diplomatic efforts through dialogue to urgently achieve a negotiated settlement, in line with international law and the UN Charter”, and he called on regional and international partners to support this process “in the interests of global stability.”  

“The impact of the war in Ukraine across the region and the world is profound and far-reaching. The consequences of escalation are too frightening to contemplate,” he stated, stressing: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine must stop. The guns must be silenced.” 

Bedrock of peace and security  

“On 9 May, on this very day, we must remember that dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect are the bedrock of peace and security in Europe and around the world,” Mr. Guterres said, referring to what is known as ‘Victory Day’, which marks the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II in 1945. 

This year, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the anniversary of the victory over fascism was met with some apprehension in Chisinau, with media outlets in the region reporting possible mass actions and even the threat of clashes between supporters of different approaches in assessing those historical events.  

“The fact that I am here on the 9th of May is a pure coincidence. This visit is programmed in association with the meeting of the [United Nations] Chief Executives Board in Vienna, and so, it was convenient, both for the Government of Moldova and for me”, said Mr. Guterres, responding to a question from a journalist. 

The Secretary General congratulated Moldova on the 30th anniversary of joining the United Nations. In 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the acquisition of independence. In this context, he highly appreciated Moldova’s contribution to peacebuilding, promotion of sustainable development and gender equality, as well as to the fight against climate change.  

image1170x530cropped 12 - Guterres expresses solidarity as Moldova grapples with fallout of Russia’s war in Ukraine
UN News – Victory Day in Chisinau, Moldova

Funding for humanitarian aid 

The UN has appealed for $2.5 billion for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, and $1.85 billion for support for Ukrainian refugees in other countries.  

“I urge all countries to give generously. In global terms, these are minuscule sums,” said the Secretary-General, also calling on all countries to consider strengthening their economic cooperation with Moldova. 

While the current flow of refugees to Moldova is not comparable to the first weeks of the war, according to UN officials who have met with Ukrainians fleeing the war at the border, on some days, the number of arrivals increases sharply, usually due to an escalation in hostilities. According to UN estimates, by the end of the year, the number of refugees in Moldova may increase to one million people, with some 250,000 of them possibly remaining in the country. 

Among his other activities today, the Secretary-General met with the Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Grosu, and on Tuesday he will meet with the President of Moldova, Maia Sandu. 

Tomorrow, the UN chief is also expected to visit the MoldExpo exhibition center, where UN staff and civil society groups are working tirelessly to assist refugees from Ukraine. In addition, Mr. Guterres is also expected to visit one of the Chisinau families that has sheltered Ukrainians.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement - spot_img

Must read

Latest articles