The International Association of Peace Messenger Cities (IAPMC) is deeply concerned about the severe humanitarian crisis that has emerged due to the armed conflict in Ukraine. We have witnessed the plight of already almost three million people (and the number is increasing rapidly) – Ukrainians and other nationalities, including young children and even babies, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and cities, which many of them are also IAPMC member cities – and the agony of those who remain struggling to survive in a dangerous environment of incessant bombardment and destruction. The situation is grave and must be alleviated urgently.

  • 5 March 2022
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In this regard, we commend the United Nations humanitarian and refugee agencies for their timely and ongoing response to human tragedy. In particular, we applaud the launching of their inter-agency $ 1.7 billion Appeal for assistance to Ukrainian refugees, internally displaced people and assistance to neighbouring European countries hosting the refugees.

At the same time, as an Association comprising over a hundred municipalities worldwide, IAPMC would like to reaffirm its solidarity with the UN emergency and refugee agencies in addressing the challenges of humanitarian emergencies and situations created by armed conflicts around the world – in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Indeed, there are other refugees and internally displaced people. As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees articulated recently, while we are concerned about the gravity of the humanitarian emergency in Ukraine, “please let us not forget the continuing plight of Afghans, Syrians, Ethiopians, and the Rohingya people from Myanmar, and of many others”.

Armed conflict-related humanitarian emergencies and situations, such as in Ukraine, are often casualties of a breakdown in peace processes or the absence of such processes. Accordingly, the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities recognizes and consistently encourages the role and responsibility of its member Cities to create a culture of peace, in building a world less violent and more humane, a world of tolerance and mutual respect.

We stand firmly on our pledge to use various means at the disposal of Member Cities to contribute effectively and in close collaboration with the United Nations to build peace worldwide. Accordingly, against the background of current trends in international relations, and as we approach the 5th Anniversary of the adoption by the UN Conference of the Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear weapons, we renew our determination to ensure that “States understand that nuclear disarmament and the total abolition of nuclear weapons is a primary necessity for the establishment and maintenance of international peace.”

The depth of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear and other so-called weapons of mass destruction is unfathomable. Peace is a human right. IAPMC’s contribution to the negotiating processes towards the UN Declaration on the Right to Peace is on record. The right to peace must be pursued for the survival of humankind.

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