June 20 marks World Refugee Day, proclaimed by a UN General Assembly resolution to draw attention to the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons.
In 2022, the world was shocked by the unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe caused by Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. Almost a third of our citizens were forced to leave their homes. Escaping the war, 7.5 million people crossed the border of Ukraine. Another 7.1 million Ukrainians have become internally displaced persons. Every third child was deprived of the opportunity to go to a bed at home.
We are sincerely grateful to the Office of the United Nations Coordinator in Ukraine, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Development Program, UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund and other international organizations and agencies for their continued humanitarian support.
Of particular importance is the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ukraine and abroad to alleviate the plight of Ukrainians forced to flee their homes due to Russia’s bombs, and to involve goodwill ambassadors to raise awareness of the international community about our humanitarian needs.
We thank all the donors who are already making a much-needed contribution to the UN’s humanitarian programs for Ukraine, particularly the Flash Appeal and the Regional Refugee Response Plan. We hope for the continued funding of these programs, as the aggressor state does not abandon its intentions to wipe out the Ukrainian state and its people.
We deeply appreciate the hospitality and warmth with which millions of our citizens have been welcomed in Poland, Moldova, the Baltic States, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and many other countries.
We call on international humanitarian and human rights organizations to pay special attention to the fate of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens and Ukrainian children who have been forcibly displaced to the territory of the aggressor state in violation of international humanitarian law.
Our citizens must not become hostages of the aggressor and their legal rights and interests must be duly protected.
The Ukrainian state will continue to protect the interests of Ukrainian citizens abroad, including those illegally deported by the Russian Federation to its territory.