Ignoring global pleas for peace and diplomacy, Russia has launched an unjustifiable full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Education International stands in solidarity with the teachers, students, and people of Ukraine and calls on the international community to stop the bloodshed and do their utmost to avoid a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Europe.
“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is unacceptable. Educators across the world stand with our colleagues, students, and communities in Ukraine and denounce the invasion. The conflict has already cost 14,000 lives since 2014, wounding thousands and displacing 1.5 million people. The violence must stop. The international community must stand united in the face of this aggression and support Ukraine’s right to choose its future,” stated David Edwards, Education International General Secretary.
Susan Flocken, Director of ETUCE, the European Region of Education International said: “Teachers, academics and their unions in Europe are shocked by the military intervention of the Russian Federation in the sovereign state of the Ukraine. ETUCE condemns the attack of Russia on the Ukraine and expresses its strong support and profound solidarity with colleagues, teachers, academics and students and all people of Ukraine. The lives of millions of people are at stake. War and invasion should never happen in contemporary societies where people employ words and not arms to reach a settlement. The invasion must cease.”
We have engaged with member organisations in Russia and Ukraine to stress the importance of dialogue and of preserving the values of education and peace.
We affirm our unwavering commitment to our member organisations in Ukraine - the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU) and the Free Trade Union of Education and Science of Ukraine (VPONU).
In their statement, TUESWU which represents 1.4 million education workers in Ukraine, emphasised “that this aggressive scenario will have catastrophic humanitarian consequences, but would also significantly undermine the country's economy. Millions of jobs could be destroyed, and the destruction of educational institutions, social services, and the economy would lead to poverty and destitution. Social welfare and respect for workers’ rights would no longer be on the agenda.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian sovereign territory is a flagrant violation of international law that will result in the tragic loss of human life and threatens not only the security of Ukraine, but of the entire region. The far-reaching consequences of this act of war cannot be understated.
The people of Ukraine have a right to a future free of violence and war. They have the sovereign right to democratically decide their future as a nation. The world must stand with them and redouble efforts to ensure peace in the country and on the continent.
It is a time to address the serious problems of the region based on building peace rather than waging war and destruction.