INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION (IJR) MEDIA STATEMENT
OF THE RUSSIAN-UKRANIAN-NATO CRISIS

Cape Town, South Africa, Monday 7th March 2022 – The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) strongly condemns war in all contexts. The indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians in Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation is unacceptable. It appeals to the United Nations to establish a process for mediation between members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Ukrainian authorities, and the Russian Federation in order to de-escalate the tension and identify the pathway to reduce and eliminate the conflict.
The IJR, has over the last two decades, advocated for the use of peacemaking and peacebuilding processes to resolve violent disputes. The Institute actively works with governments, inter-governmental and civil society actors to directly address the underlying sources of political tension, by providing advice on the use of transitional justice and peacebuilding processes to build inclusive and democratic societies around the world.

The IJR believes that a pathway out of the current crisis also involves the development of a new global collective security system, inclusive of a revision of its structures, processes and norms. This crisis has shown the limitations of the structuring of the UNSC and of the ability of states to intervene in times of crises. Many countries have long called for a restructuring on the UNSC: the time for this is now upon us. The IJR requests the UN General Assembly can invoke Article 109, of the UN Charter which calls for “a General Conference of the Members of the UN for the purpose of reviewing the present Charter” and notes that such a “conference shall be held if so decided by a majority vote of the members of the General Assembly and by a vote of any seven members of the Security Council.” NATO, too, needs to engage in a process of revisiting its membership, raison d’etre, and use of force.

The widespread violence in Ukraine has traumatized millions of people and the IJR appeals to international governmental and civic actors to provide transitional justice, psycho-social peacebuilding interventions, and mental health initiatives, to support the victims and survivors of the current conflict in Ukraine. The IJR requests the interested parties to refer to the European Union’s Policy Framework on Support to Transitional Justice which outline’s “a comprehensive approach to transitional justice, with the aim of achieving peaceful, just, and democratic societies based on the rule of law, and respect for human rights, helping to recognise and redress the harms suffered by victims of human rights and international humanitarian law violations.”

In addition, the 2004 UN Secretary-General’s Report on the rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies prioritizes the need to confront and address the effects of large-scale human rights abuses, through systems of accountability and redress in order to pursue justice and reconciliation. Similarly, the African Union’s Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP) highlights the importance of “fighting impunity” and “bringing an end to any ongoing violence and removing the threats of further violence impacting the affected population”, through “addressing the legacies of the past violence and oppression, reconstructing broken relationships and finding ways for individuals and communities to live together.”

The IJR maintains that differences of opinion and conflict are inevitable but should not be resolved through violence and calls on all stakeholders to the crisis to find and establish pathways to sustainable peace, in order to save today’s populations and “succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

For enquiries contact: Sam Kambule; email: skambule@ijr.org.za

Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

ENDS