Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the news of a ceasefire in Ukraine and called for its full implementation, adding his hope that the cessation of hostilities will further allow the United Nations and partners to deliver critical humanitarian assistance to those affected by fighting.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban also welcomed the role recent discussions between the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia have played in today's breakthrough and strongly encouraged those contacts to continue.
“The Secretary-General stresses that credible and comprehensive monitoring and verification are essential elements for successful implementation of the cease-fire and the peace plan,” said the statement. “He encourages all who committed to the agreement to display good will and take concrete steps towards urgent, full and effective implementation.
“He calls on the entire international community to rally behind these agreements to serve the interests of a sustainable peace based on a solution that leads to full respect of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
The crisis in Ukraine has displaced approximately 260,000 people, according to the UN. Eastern towns such as Donetsk and Luhansk are among the more affected areas in the country, with almost 94 per cent of civilians displaced.
The fighting has also caused lack of access to basic necessities, such as water and food, as well as electricity shortages. The UN has also reported severe damage to infrastructure, including buildings and roads.
In today's statement, Mr. Ban said the cessation of hostilities will further allow the UN and other humanitarian actors of the international community to deliver critical humanitarian assistance and other needed support to the impacted areas.
The Secretary-General also reiterated that there is no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
“He strongly asserts that it is time to end this destructive conflict once and for all, to stop the bloodshed and to start rebuilding communities and livelihoods in a safe, stable and sovereign Ukraine. He offers the full support of the UN to efforts in this direction as appropriate and requested by the parties.”