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The congregations of Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist churches and Fellowships throughout New Zealand and Australia are deeply concerned at the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and call for an immediate ceasefire between Russian and Ukrainian forces, immediate cessation of the 8 year civil war in Eastern Ukraine, and withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

We call on the United Nations to urgently broker a negotiated settlement guaranteeing the full withdrawal of Russian forces and resolution of the security concerns claimed by both parties to the conflict. Only a genuinely negotiated resolution that addresses the security fears of both can protect the world from the current danger of escalation into a wider and possibly nuclear catastrophe for life on our planet.

We urge our governments to provide substantial and continuing humanitarian aid to respond to the catastrophic impact on the lives of all people in Ukraine and to support neighbouring countries who are accepting those who are fleeing the conflict.

We call on our governments to offer transportation to our countries and safe haven and refuge for those fleeing this war. We also call for all persons in Australia and New Zealand on temporary visas and who cannot safely return to Ukraine to have their visas extended until a genuine settlement is achieved.

We commend the words of the Unitarian Universalist Services Committee, ‘All powerful states must be held accountable to the principles of human rights.’ ‘We join our prayers to those of people around the globe, who cry out in this moment—we demand peace; we demand an end to the bloodshed; we demand respect for human rights!’.

Authorised by Rev Clay Nelson, President of the Australian and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association (ANZUUA), Auckland Unitarian Church.

Press Enquiries: Revd Dr Ralph Catts

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