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Russia's aggression on Ukraine threatens international peace and human rights

At the Human Rights Center, we are deeply concerned by the Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine. This act of aggression poses a grave challenge to international community that emerged from the devastation of two World Wars and the horrors of the Holocaust against the Jewish people and many other groups in Europe.

We recall that the United Nations was founded “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples” as well as “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”  

Although this rules-based order rests on the sovereign equality of all states, only five nations - the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the Russian Federation and China - hold the power and privilege of permanent membership on the UN Security Council. Together, these nations bear a special responsibility to maintain international peace and security and to uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Only the global rule of law can constrain the most powerful states and prevent a return to a world of imperialism, colonialism and conquest. International cooperation and mutual respect remains essential for us to tackle the many crises that we face, including catastrophic climate change, the global pandemic and increasing poverty and inequality. We support the courageous calls for peace emerging from many people and communities in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Inspired by their example, we remind ourselves today that the promise of realizing universal human rights for all people regardless of nationality, race, religion, gender, language, ethnicity or ability is fragile and rests on the bedrock of international law and peaceful relations.

We stand with the people of Ukraine, as well as those in Russia and Belarus who desire peace and the protection of their human rights and strongly condemn this act of aggression.

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