AT his video message Speaking to representatives of some 40 countries gathered in Lugano, the Secretary-General drew attention to the tragic consequences of the conflict for people, as well as to the long-term problems that need to be addressed:
“The Russian war in Ukraine has claimed thousands of lives and forcibly resettled millions of people,” the UN chief said. Millions of Ukrainians have lost their livelihoods, risking falling into poverty. It will take years to rebuild homes, hospitals and schools…It’s a long road but it has to start now“.
In addition to the UN, the meeting was attended by international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank.
On the agenda are projects to promote climate protection, the digital economy and the diversification of energy sources.
FAO helps Ukrainian farmers
The $17 million Japanese-funded project also aims to support grain exports to unnamed “alternative” international markets, as well as to improve the food security of countries that depend on imports of Ukrainian cereals, vegetable oil and other commodities.
This includes restoring silos to store Ukrainian grain, as well as providing the country’s farmers with the tools they need to work in the future, the FAO said in a statement.
“Ukrainian farmers feed themselves, their communities and millions of people around the world. Ensuring that they can continue to produce, store safely and have access to alternative markets to sell their products is vital to food availability.protect livelihoods, enhance food security in Ukraine and ensure other import-dependent countries have a stable and sufficient supply of grain at a manageable price,” said Rein Paulsen, Director of the FAO Office for Emergencies and Resilience.
Focus on the Human Rights Council
The large number of civilian casualties and massive destruction of civilian infrastructure caused by the Russian military and, on a much smaller scale, by the Ukrainian armed forces are not in line with international humanitarian law, the UN human rights chief said. Michelle Bacheletin a report released on Tuesday at Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The report examines the human rights situation in Ukraine from the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24 to May 15.
The conclusions are based on information collected by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine during 11 field visits, visits to 3 places of detention and 517 interviews with victims and witnesses of human rights violations, as well as other sources of information.
No access to occupied territory
“Although we have not yet been granted access to the territory occupied by the Russian armed forces, we are documenting violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) committed by all parties, and we remain committed to monitoring the human rights situation throughout Ukraine”, said the UN High Commissioner.
As of July 3, OHCHR documented more than 10,000 civilian deaths or injuries across Ukraine, with 335 children among the 4,889 reported deaths. However, the real numbers are likely to be much higher.
“The majority of documented civilian casualties have resulted from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.”, Miss Bachelet said.Attacks from heavy artillery, such as multiple rocket launchers, as well as rocket and air strikes, including by means capable of carrying cluster munitions, were repeatedly used.”
The massive displacement of civilians, including more than 8 million internally, has had a disproportionate impact on women, children, the elderly and the disabled.
“Concerns persist about unlawful killings, including summary executions,” said Mrs Bachelet. “A growing body of evidence gives my Office reasonable grounds to believe that the Russian armed forces have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law in this regard.”
OHCHR is working to corroborate more than 300 allegations of killings by the Russian armed forces in situations other than active hostilities.