1 year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Guyana joins world leaders in call for lasting peace, end to war

…diplomats laud Guyana for its constant support

Today marks one year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began, and the world – including Guyana – is still reeling from the effects of that war, which has killed thousands and disrupted critical supply chains.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has verified a total of 7,199 civilian deaths during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as of February 12, 2023. Of them, 438 were children. Further, 11,756 people were reported to have been injured.
On the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, roughly three-quarters of United Nations Member States endorsed a motion calling for “a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in line with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. The resolution essentially called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, and a halt to the fighting. Moreover, the resolution reaffirmed support for Ukraine’s “sovereignty” and “territorial integrity,” rejecting any Russian claims to the parts of the country it occupies.
Guyana is among 141 countries that supported the motion, while China, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and much of Africa and Central Asia were among the abstentions. The measure is not legally binding, but holds political weight.
Since the beginning of the war, Guyana has continuously demonstrated its solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
In March last year, Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, told the General Assembly that Guyana fully aligns itself with the statements issued by Caricom Community and with the declaration of Organization of American States (OAS) on the situation in Ukraine.
She noted the deep concern of the Government over the recent military intervention by Russia in violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and called for an immediate cessation of hostility and a return to diplomacy.
“Guyana deplores the threat of use of force in the conduct of international relations, and urges a peaceful resolution of the differences that currently exist in consonance with the rule of international law and the provisions of the United Nations charter,” Rodrigues-Birkett told the UN.

Very Important
But why is Guyana’s position on the Russian/Ukraine war of any consequence? France believes every voice matters.
Non-Resident French Ambassador to Guyana, Nicolas de Lacoste, told <<Guyana Times>> during an exclusive interview on Wednesday that he had just met with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, where they discussed the one-year anniversary of the war.
“…and I thanked the Guyanese authorities for their constant support inside the UN General Assembly in support of resolutions condemning the illegal acts of Russia against Ukraine. It is a very serious matter.
“Guyana’s support is very important…every voice counts,” he said.
The French Ambassador noted that it is important to show that Russia is completely “isolated” in its efforts, and that countries all across the global, not just one region, are against such violent actions.

Meanwhile, Ambassador of the United States of America, Sarah-Ann Lynch; the British High Commissioner Jane Miller, OBE; Canadian High Commissioner Mark Berman; and Ambassador of the European Union, René van Nes, issued a joint statement wherein they asserted that “Russia must be held accountable.”
“We all remember the fateful day when Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustifiable full-scale invasion of Ukraine shocked the collective conscience of democratic nations around the world. But we also remember how the Ukrainian people inspired the world as they defended their country from aggression. Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion was a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity enshrined in the United Nations Charter.”
The ABCE diplomats also recalled that, in October, Guyana joined 143 other countries at the United Nations that stood up for those principles and against Russia’s assault on them.
“We commend Guyana for reaffirming the UN Charter, for supporting and co-sponsoring UN resolutions condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine, adopted on March 2, 2022 (A/RES/ES-11/1); on the humanitarian consequences of aggression against Ukraine, adopted on March 24 (A/RES/ES-11/2), 2022; and on supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity, on October 12, 2022 (A/RES/ES-11/1).”
The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the EU have since imposed sanctions intended to cripple Russia’s ability to finance the war against Ukraine, enact costs on Russia’s elite, and diminish Russia’s economic base. Export controls and airspace restrictions have cut off Russia’s access to vital technological inputs and atrophied its industrial base. To date, the international community has provided hundreds of billions of dollars in security, humanitarian, economic, and emergency assistance aid to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people since the war began.
The Ambassadors further noted that, “Our support for Ukraine and its people who are bravely defending their homeland is ironclad. Furthermore, we call on Russia to end the brutal onslaught against its neighbour. Russia chose this war – and the world is responding to hold Russia accountable for the atrocities it is committing in Ukraine. We want this war to end as quickly as possible – on just terms that respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
A democratic, prosperous, and secure Ukraine is in the interest not only of the people of Ukraine, but also of the democratic nations of the international community.”