EUROPE: When the United Nations has to step up – By Francis Quamina Farrier  

 By Francis Quamina Farrier  

Indeed, there are those times when the United Nations (UN) has to step up and full-fill one of its mandates. Since the UN acts as a mediator between countries which commence armed conflict with each other, its role in world affairs is of vital importance. With that role also comes much respect by member countries.

This article will now take a look at the recent unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Ukraine has been a sovereign nation since 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union of which it was a part along with 14 other (now independent) countries.       

Immediately after the invasion by Russia, which is 28 times larger than Ukraine, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, last Wednesday, overwhelmingly condemned the invasion and demanded that Russia withdraw its troops immediately. This act by Russia is obviously something which is a hot topic being discussed by many Guyanese, and in fact, peace-loving people world-wide.

Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, addressed a special session of the UN General Assembly last week, in which she deplored the Russian aggression saying that “Russia’s aggression to Ukraine is a threat to the region and countries everywhere.” For many decades, Guyanese lived in fear of their country being invaded by Venezuela, its Spanish-speaking neighbour to the West. Fortunately, that has not happened, and the hope is that it will never happen. None-the-less, with Russia’s recent invasion of its smaller neighbour, Ukraine, and with the report that over 350 civilian lives have already been lost, Guyanese are witnessing in real time, what can result when a more powerful country invades a less powerful neighbour, and with no concern about  civilian causalities.

However, it is such situations that bring the United Nations into action as a protector of vulnerable states. The UNITED NATIONS acts as a mediator to prevent bilateral disputes from escalating into a world war and helps nations to negotiate during the outbreak with the objective of bringing the conflict to an end as early as possible. It could be assumed that there is much diplomatic activity going on right now behind the scenes to bring this bloody conflict of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to an early end and prevent the loss of more innocent lives.

The UN, which acts as a humanitarian organization, usually gives assistance to civilians on both sides of conflicts between countries, with the object of reducing human suffering. Here are a few examples of media headlines reporting last week of the suffering ordinary citizens are experiencing right now in the present war between Russia and Ukraine; “Mum takes in Ukrainian families fleeing to Poland.” “Cancer drugs running out for toddler stuck in Ukraine.” “Ukrainian mothers resort to giving birth in basements.” And of special interest to roving media workers, “Reporter takes cover as blasts light up Kyiv’s sky.” A television news report flashed the headline “Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on fire after Russian Assault.” There was also the report that a Ukrainian sniper killed a Russian Major General who was with Russian troops in Ukraine.

As the war continues and even escalates, there is much suffering by ordinary people in both countries. During last week, there was a report in a Ukrainian newspaper which stated that there were, “Long queues to withdraw money in Moscow.” There was an even more worrying headline; “Pensioner arrested at anti-war protest in Russia.” There are also reports of a growing number of Russians who are now speaking out regards their disenchantment with their government. Not only speaking out, but also giving tangible support to the Ukrainian people are the United States and the United Kingdom among others. The United Kingdom is assisting Ukraine financially through a 100 million pound Official Development Assistance (ODA). Meanwhile, the United States has already given $350 million in military assistance. As the conflict continues, over a million Ukrainians have already fled their country of 43 million 284 thousand. Meanwhile, Guyana is prepared to assist Guyanese in both countries who might need assistance.

Farrier in New York City with the East River and the UN Headquarters in the background.

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  • Kman  On 03/09/2022 at 5:18 pm

    Guyana offering assistance to both countries. Very noble considering you can’t take care of Guyanese.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/10/2022 at 11:45 am

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/10/2022 at 2:29 pm

    The British Government’s Response To Ukrainian Refugees Is Sadly Typical

    Just ask an Afghan | The Economist

    “Of course, we’re going to take refugees,” promised Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, as Ukrainians dodged Russian bombs. “The UK is way out in front in our willingness to help.” You hardly dare imagine what UNWILLINGNESS would look like.

    Britain’s treatment of Ukrainian refugees so far has combined foot-dragging, hard-heartedness, ineptitude and dishonesty. It is sadly typical of the government.

    As the invasion began, European Union countries quickly agreed that all Ukrainians could enter without visas and could live, work and receive welfare for at least a year. By contrast, the country that Mr Johnson calls “Global Britain”, which supposedly left the stodgy, bureaucratic EU to pursue closer relations with places (like Ukraine) that are outside the bloc, came up with the meanest offer imaginable.

    The home secretary, Priti Patel, said Ukrainians might be granted refuge if they had close family members already in Britain. But they would have to obtain visas before being let into the country. After all, Russian infiltrators and “extremists” might be trying to sneak in. Officials even insinuated that Ireland was hazarding Britain’s security by opening its doors.

    AND WHERE COULD PEOPLE BLASTED OUT OF THEIR HOMES OBTAIN A VISA? – NOT IN CALAIS, the nearest port to Britain. Ms Patel did not want to process applications there, she told Parliament, lest a “surge” occur. Ukrainians who turn up in Calais have been given a KitKat bar and a packet of crisps and told to apply online, then make their way to Paris, Brussels or Lille for an appointment a week later. Offices are thinly staffed and often closed. Incredulous Tory backbenchers have called the response “robotic”, but that is unfair to robots, which are at least efficient.

    It is not the first time that Britain has cold-shouldered desperate people while promising to help them. Last year Ms Patel promised NOT TO ABANDON AFGHANS “living in terror” after the Taliban took over. When her visa scheme opened in January, it transpired that many of the 5,000 or so slots in the first year would be filled by Afghans already living in Britain. The government is now trying to pass a bill that would criminalise asylum-seekers who turn up without permission – as asylum-seekers generally do. In that case, too, it has the nerve to claim that it has their best interests at heart.

    One excuse for the government’s behaviour is that Britons are fickle. Although opinion polls show them to be far more generous than their leaders, their sympathy for Ukrainians might last only as long as the war leads the news.

    If a Ukrainian, or somebody pretending to be a Ukrainian, commits a crime in Britain, they will blame the government. But this excuse is a poor one. Other European countries also have jittery, xenophobic populations. Their leaders have rightly decided to offer shelter while the war rages and sort out the inevitable mess later. Only Britain is following a paperwork-first policy.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/10/2022 at 2:39 pm


    Ukrainians who turn up in Calais have been given a KitKat bar and a packet of crisps and told to apply online, then make their way to Paris, Brussels or Lille for an appointment a week later.

    Phil in the UK wrote: “At least they don’t discriminate by colour!”

    Susan in Canada wrote: “Well Alright, then – Just a little walk down the road, eh?”

    Such a caring bunch – The Brits!

    Coulda Fooled Me?!?!!

  • wally n  On 03/10/2022 at 5:05 pm

    Nothing seems to be as reported in MSM,
    Journalist Inside Eastern Ukraine: ‘People Here Are Extremely Grateful Russia Finally Did Something’
    “Finally, the people here have been liberated from the terror that they’ve been experiencing the last eight years.” – Journalist Alina Lipp
    When war broke out in Ukraine, German-Russian freelance journalist Alina Lipp was reporting from the center of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Lipp, whose father is Russian and mother is German, moved to Donetsk several years ago.
    On the day Russian President Putin announced the special military operation in Ukraine, it was very quiet in Donetsk, reports Lipp. She explains that explosions could be heard in the area, but residents are used to this. “People here really want to belong to Russia, and they are celebrating the current situation.”
    Someone had mentioned not everyone want…Russians,the last Government,or the present which is worse, country is a hotbed of laundering of money from all over, but especially the US, and that is only the beginning.
    The people lose every time, but this time it is going to be serious.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/10/2022 at 9:57 pm

    Kman: You must have failed English comprehension, clearly Farrier wrote:

    Guyana is prepared to assist Guyanese in both countries who might need assistance.

    Perhaps, Putin could hire you to promulgate his nonsense!!

  • wally n  On 03/10/2022 at 10:05 pm

    Here is more confusion??

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