SCI International’s statement on 1 year anniversary of full-scale military invasion of Ukraine
The 24th of February marks a very distressing anniversary: one year since the full-scale military aggression against Ukraine by Russia. We want to reiterate our message in support of peace, standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine as well as peace movements and peace activists in all countries involved, especially in Russia, and all over the world. Once again we call upon the Russian government to immediately stop this aggression and commit to a genuine peace process and a process of accountability. We call upon the international community and all parties involved, including the Russian and Ukrainian states, to turn to diplomacy as a means to solve conflict and abide by international law. Finally, we reject the war and militaristic narrative that is now prevalent in the media and institutions, and we ask for protection of conscientious objectors from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Peace is a choice that all parties in the conflict must commit to now!
Diplomacy is the only real method for conflict resolution!
No to war in Ukraine, no to war anywhere!
As we feared a year ago, this war brought immense suffering to thousands of people: in the conflict territories, civilians were killed, injured or forcibly displaced, people were tortured and made to disappear, peace activists and lawyers suffered attacks, human rights – such as the right to freedom of expression and the right to conscientious objection – were corroded, civilian infrastructure was severely damaged. Globally, the war brought food insecurity for communities who were already suffering poverty and hunger, an energy and economic crisis that harshly strikes the most vulnerable, militarisation and diversion of funds from social investments and services, an intensification of the nuclear threat and a deterioration of mental health. These are only a few examples of the consequences of war. And the one in Ukraine is only one example of war, as we cannot forget that it is but one of many.
This year has shown us that building a culture of peace, working on peace education, implementing peace actions and focusing on advocacy for peace is more urgent and relevant than ever. Peace cannot be taken for granted and it must be fostered every day with our words and actions, that is, working on our inner selves, nurturing positive relationships with others, engaging in society to build communities that respect human rights and support the most vulnerable, and taking care of our natural environment and our impact on the climate.
We invite people within our network and all over the world to stand up against the war in Ukraine.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. – Martin Luther King.
We encourage you to join your local peace protest or activity in the coming days, or to organise one yourself.
Service Civil International is an international peace organisation active since 1920. We are dedicated to promoting a culture of peace by organising international voluntary projects for people of all ages and backgrounds. The organisation consists of 40 branches and more than 90 partner organisations. We oppose all forms of armed conflict and militarisation. Since its beginnings, SCI has developed peaceful dialogue between people of all nations, with the vision of a world without armed conflict, hostility and with positive peace. For many years, we have been supporting peace and reconciliation efforts in Ukraine and Russia.