The Russian invasion of Ukraine is “unacceptable and immoral”, as President Michael D Higgins called for “every glimmer of hope through diplomacy” be seized.
President Higgins said the hearts of the Irish people go out to the Ukrainian people suffering violence and said “the rise of militarism must end”.
“That we have returned to war, the abuse by the powerful of its neighbour, the flagrant violations of the principals of the United Nations, a great sense of darkness has fallen across the world at the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine,” President Higgins said.
“The hearts of the Irish people go out to all of those who are suffering from this completely unacceptable, immoral and unjustified violence. Our television screens carry images of all those mothers and babies crossing borders in order to flee the mayhem which is being inflicted upon them by an invading powerful neighbour operating with total disregard for the principles of international law, and of those brave Ukrainian people struggling to defend their homes and country.
“This violence must stop. Troops must be withdrawn by Russia. The rise of militarism must end. Full humanitarian access must be given to all civilians in need. Every glimmer of hope through diplomacy must be seized.”
The President said humanity had achieved one of its most significant axes of cooperation through agreements on climate change and said: “We must not allow ourselves to be mired in militarism”.
“I call on all those inflicting this violence to reflect on that great principle that is lodged in the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and its affirmation that ‘recognition of the inherent dignity, and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family, is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’,” he said.
“These times, these events, however challenging, are times for diplomacy, for multilateralism and for our international institutions. At times like these, it is essential that the peoples of the world come together and demand the peace that in the Charter of the United Nations was not only an alternative to war, but where our best hopes for humanity lie.
“I call on everyone to use the tiny glimmers of hope which we have seen to bring this dreadful nightmare to an end and restore peace.”