United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said on Tuesday that his discussions with officials indicate that there is “enough on the table” to cease hostilities and seriously negotiate peace between Russia and Ukraine.
Speaking to media outside the office of Security Council in New York, the UN Chief said, from his own outreach efforts with ‘various actors’, “elements of diplomatic progress are coming into view on several key issues.”
“This war is unwinnable,” he said. “Sooner or later, it will have to move from the battlefield to the peace table. This is inevitable.”
António Guterres reminded that Russia launched its military invasion a month ago after months of military build-up, inflicting “appalling human suffering and destruction in cities, towns and villages. Systematic bombardments that terrorised civilians. The shelling of hospitals, schools, apartment buildings and shelters.”
People of Ukraine are enduring a living hell and the reverberations are being felt worldwide with skyrocketing food, energy and fertiliser prices threatening to spiral into a global hunger crisis, the UN chief added.
More than 3.5 million refugees have fled the country, UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday, citing massive needs among the new arrivals.
Confirming UNHCR data, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) representative in Poland, Dr Paloma Cuchi said that Ukraine’s neighbour had welcomed “around two million people, this is about 61 per cent of the refugees are in Poland”.
Amid ongoing reports that Russian shelling has continued to target heavily built-up areas inside Ukraine, latest WHO information confirmed 62 attacks on health care inside Ukraine since Russian forces invaded on 24 February.
Many refugees also have chronic health care needs which require urgent assistance, as they can no longer be treated inside Ukraine due to the deadly threat of violence, said the WHO.
Early WHO estimates indicate that the war has left 5,00,000 refugees with a mental disorder and around 30,000 with severe mental disorders, based on the experience of other conflict settings.
Inside Ukraine, where some 6.5 million people have been displaced internally, UNHCR responded to concerns that civilians from the shattered city of Mariupol had been transported to Russia against their will.