Statement on behalf of the United States
WHO Regional Committee for Europe Special Session on the Health Situation in Ukraine
The U.S. observer delegation provided the following written statement for the official report at the WHO Regional Committee for Europe Special Session on Ukraine
May 10, 2022
The United States supports the request by more than 40 members of the European region to convene today’s Special Session on the urgent health crisis unfolding in Ukraine and the surrounding region. We join others in condemning Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine and reaffirm our support for the joint statement submitted on behalf of Canada, Colombia, Haiti, Peru, and the United States.
The United States also wishes to emphasize the devastating toll of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. The brutal attacks by Russia’s military forces have not only disrupted health services and critical medical supply chains, they have also destroyed health facilities, including maternity and children’s hospitals, and struck buildings where civilians, including children, were sheltering. This destruction of health infrastructure and the disruption of health services are adversely impacting conflict-affected Ukrainians and pose a grave threat to millions of people across the country, the wider region, and around the globe.
We have further serious concerns regarding the risk of chemical, biological, and radiological events and the implications for human, animal, and environmental health, which would result in further strain on health workers and health infrastructure.
Throughout the UN system, member states are sending a clear signal that Russia must immediately and unconditionally cease its war of aggression, withdraw its troops from Ukraine, and abide by the principles enshrined in the UN Charter. The international community will continue to hold Russia to account, and we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine as they fight for their sovereignty, democracy, and freedom.
We thank our European Regional colleagues for convening us today and we look forward to our continued work together to address the health needs of the Ukrainian people and mitigate the far-reaching, negative health impacts of this conflict across the world.