Police detain a protester against Russia’s attack on Ukraine in St Petersburg, Russia on Sunday. (AP) –
CARICOM leaders have reiterated the group’s condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
They did so in a statement delivered after the end of the 33rd intersessional meeting of the Caricom Heads of Government in Belize on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In the statement, Caricom said it strongly condemns the military attacks and invasion of Ukraine by the Russia. It called for “an immediate ceasefire, an end to all acts of aggression and the urgent withdrawal of Russian military forces in Ukraine.”
In calling on all parties to resolve this crisis diplomatically and respect Ukrain’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, Caricom said, “The invasion of Ukraine is causing untold loss and destruction of life and property for the civilian population of Ukraine, including women and children, in violation of international humanitarian law, and has caused a growing humanitarian crisis.”
Caricom thanked the governments and people of neighbouring countries who are extending humanitarian services to refugees fleeing Ukraine.
“We are particularly concerned about the plight of and discrimination against non-European nationals and call for the guarantee of the safety and security of nationals of the Caribbean, Latin American and Africa and from those countries who are seeking to leave Ukraine.”
In this regard, Caricom said, “We underscore the importance of respect for human rights and the human dignity of persons in keeping with international commitments.”
It added, “We reiterate that the principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of another sovereign state, the prohibition on the threat or use of force, and the peaceful resolution of all disputes must be adhered to by all nations.”
In expressing concern that the military confrontation taking place in Europe could have repercussions in Caribbean, Caricom said it “strongly rejects any attempt to deploy military assets that can elevate tension and threaten the peace, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of this region.”
Caricom reiterated that the Caribbean has been a zone of peace since 2014 and reminded all countries to respect this.
Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne represented Trinidad and Tobago at the conference.