“A call for an immediate ceasefire and peaceful end to the Russian aggression against Ukraine”

Last week, the Lancet–SIGHT Commission on Peaceful Societies through Health and Gender Equality (of which I am a member), published an article in The Lancet that strongly condemns the Russian Government’s aggression against Ukraine and its attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including health workers and hospitals.

The full text can be found on The Lancet’s website. Here is an excerpt:

“The indiscriminate use of weaponry violates international humanitarian law and has caused catastrophic health impacts, especially on children, older people, and disabled persons, and social and economic disruptions that will be long lasting. There are nuclear risks, both from Russian attacks on Ukrainian nuclear facilities and the potential for nuclear weapons use.

There is a further risk that Russia might use chemical or biological weapons. We call for an immediate ceasefire and the appointment of a mediator to facilitate negotiations for a sustainable and peaceful settlement on the basis of international law to end the conflict. We urge the global health community to deliver humanitarian assistance impartially to all those affected by and fleeing the war; document atrocities committed against civilians and the devastating impacts of the war; counter disinformation about the conflict; and advocate for a peaceful settlement. We also call for an end to the repression of those in Russia protesting the war.

We make this statement as a group of Commissioners from the Lancet–SIGHT Commission on Peaceful Societies through Health and Gender Equality, a collaboration of experts in conflict research, political science, law, economics, gender, medicine, and public health, which was convened in May, 2019 to examine how gender equality and health equity can promote peaceful societies and prevent conflict. Through its global networks of practitioners, researchers, and policy makers, the health community has an important role in promoting equity, social justice, and peace.”

About SIGHT and the commission

SIGHT (“Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation“) was established in 2017 as an institute under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. SIGHT’s goal is to be a catalyst ensuring that evidence-based capacity in Sweden is transformed in order to be able to effectively tackle the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) era. SIGHT views global health as an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasises transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes inter-disciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care.

SIGHT’s vision is to improve health and wellbeing globally for all with a particular focus on vulnerable groups, including women and children. The purpose is to promote an interdisciplinary approach, to strengthen and bridge Swedish research and education, and to provide a scientific basis for national and transnational collaborative policy work, in the field of global health.

The Lancet-SIGHT Commission on Peaceful Societies Through Health and Gender Equality is an independent and international commission dedicated to generating new knowledge and evidence on the relationship between health equity, gender equality, conflict, and peace, and practical recommendations on how health equity and gender equality interventions can contribute to more peaceful societies.

The Lancet-SIGHT Commission is chaired by Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland, and includes 25 experts from various disciplines and geographies. The Secretariat is hosted at the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation (SIGHT), an independent global health institute at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

(Source: Information about SIGHT and The Lancet-SIGHT Commission on SIGHT’s web site)


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