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Ukraine: Massari focuses on protection of women and children fleeing the country

NEW YORK, APRIL 19 – “The Ukrainian refugee crisis is also a protection crisis for women and children which account for 90% of all those fleeing from the country”, the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Maurizio Massari, said today during a Security Council open debate on “Maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine. “The risks of gender-based violence, trafficking, abuse, psychological trauma, and family separation increase in times of conflict and displacement, but given the gender profile of this refugee outflow, and the fact that many children have fled alone, these risks are incredibly high. The testimony of rapes and sexual violence by Russian troops that are now emerging are in fact utterly disturbing”, added the Italian Ambassador calling for “full accountability” for the individual perpetrators of such violations, “so as to avoid any form of impunity”.

While reaffirming Italy’s condemnation for  the “unjustified and unprovoked aggression” of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, Massari reiterated a call for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of the Russian military forces from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, and the return to a negotiating path. “We also reaffirm our heartfelt solidarity with Ukraine and its people and mourn all the victims of this senseless war”, the Italian Permanent Representative added, expressing “deep concern for the repeated attacks on civilians, including women and children, and by the testimonies and reports of war crimes, grave breaches of international humanitarian law, and serious violations of international human rights law perpetrated by the Russian armed forces”.

Over 7.1 million people are internally displaced in Ukraine, while the war has caused over 4.5 million refugees. “Refugees are a priority that requires an international and coordinated approach. Hence, we welcome the efforts of IOM, UNHCR and the other UN agencies on the ground. In order to try to alleviate this unbearable human suffering, we provided a contribution of 20 million euros to the UN Flash Appeal and 6 million euros to the Red Cross”, recalled Massari.

Italy has been following migration flows from Ukraine since 2014, also in light of the presence of a large Ukrainian community in the Country: almost 250 thousand Ukrainians live in Italy accounting for one of the largest Ukrainian diasporas in the world before the war, while almost 100.000 refugees have been welcomed singe the Russian invasion. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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