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Address root causes of Ukraine war, UN official urges, as anniversary of Russian invasion approaches


Miroslav Jenča, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Europe at the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), warned that the fighting risked “further diminishing the prospects for a just and lasting solution”.

“The approaching anniversary of the invasion is not only an occasion to recount the horrors of the past two years, but also a reminder that the armed conflict in Ukraine did not begin on 24 February 2022, but has been ongoing in the country’s east since 2014,” he said, briefing ambassadors in the Security Council.

Mr. Jenča briefing the Security Council.

“The United Nations has been, and will remain, fully committed to the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” he added.

Mr. Jenča noted that though the UN was not formally part of any mechanism related to the peace process in Ukraine, over the years it had expressed “full support” to all diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.

Address root causes

He also underscored the need for peace processes to address the root causes of the conflict.

“What we know is that peace agreements alone will not end violence.  Peace processes must address the root causes of the conflict and come with full and equal participation of women and youth, and inclusion of civil society voices,” he said.

“What we need for Ukraine, for the region and the world, is a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, in line with the UN Charter, international law, and the resolutions of the General Assembly,” he added.

Humanitarian situation

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, hostilities continued through the weekend and into Monday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

On 10 February, evening strikes in Kharkiv city in the east led to a massive fire at an oil depot. The fire spread to homes nearby and local authorities reported more than 50 casualties. The fire also impacted the electricity supply in the area.

“Humanitarian partners are mobilized and distributing hot meals and materials for urgent repairs. They are also providing mental health and psychosocial support at the site of the attack,” UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told correspondents at the regular briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

Damage to energy facilities has also been reported by the state energy provider in the Dnipro, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, he added, noting that, according to Ukraine’s main energy company, 386 towns and villages across the country remain without electricity due to the impact of hostilities.

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