The UNESCO Commissions of Europe strongly condemn the Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine

Roman fort Saalburg, March 3rd, 2022

The UNESCO Commissions of Europe strongly condemn the Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine

We, the Saalburg Roman Fort - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - join the statement of the European UNESCO Commissions, which jointly condemned the attack on Ukraine:

“The UNESCO Commissions of Europe (and beyond) strongly condemn the Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine. We express our solidarity with the people of Ukraine, including journalists reporting from the war zone, as well as with teachers, students and pupils who have the right to education in peace. We strongly support our partners who promote the goals and values of UNESCO in Ukraine and beyond.

On February 24, UNESCO called for respect for international humanitarian law. In particular, she called for the protection of freedom of information, the protection of media professionals and compliance with the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. A total of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites are located in Ukraine. Following the recent escalation of violence, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the Russian president to withdraw his troops from Ukraine.”

Our thoughts are with the people threatened by acts of war who are seeking refuge in other regions and countries. We hope that the political leaders in the Russian government will stop the attacks and thus also prevent the destruction of UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the historic centre of Lviv (Lviv) or St. Sophia Cathedral and Lavra Pechersk Cave Monastery in Kiev.

In 1959, the Soviet Union donated a sculpture by a Ukrainian artist to the United Nations. It shows a strong man putting the biblical motto “swords into plowshares” into practice. Since then, this guide to peace has stood in the garden of the UN in New York. It invites us to a future in which the peoples of Ukraine and Russia live reconciled together in peace, true friendship and self-determination. A future of peace and justice in the common home of Europe. We want to contribute to this with our strengths and opportunities.

Your Saalburg team

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