Anti-War Protest Rally for Ukraine outside UN Headquarters

Health, gender, and conflict experts call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine

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UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A group of Commissioners of and collaborators with the Lancet–SIGHT Commission on Peaceful Societies through Health and Gender Equality condemn the Russian Government’s aggression against Ukraine and its attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, in a Comment published in The Lancet. The authors call for the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, as demanded by the March 2, 2022 UN General Assembly resolution ES-11/1, and an end to the war in Ukraine.

The Comment highlights the catastrophic health impacts of the war in Ukraine, especially on children, older people, and disabled persons. The Russian military’s indiscriminate use of weaponry and targeting of civilian infrastructure, including the maternity hospital in Mariupol, violate international humanitarian law. The Comment also draws attention to how the war will have prolonged health consequences far beyond Ukraine’s borders.

The authors argue that the global health community has an important role in promoting equity, social justice, and peace. They call on the health community to deliver humanitarian assistance impartially to all those affected by and fleeing the war; document atrocities committed against civilians and the devastating impacts of the war; counter disinformation about the conflict; and advocate for a peaceful settlement. They urge the global health community to “address the new health, humanitarian, security, and refugee crises caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and use this perilous moment to reinvigorate an agenda for global cooperation”.

Read Comment in The Lancet