On February 28, more than 390 South Korean NGOs held a press conference in front of the Russian Embassy in South Korea calling on Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine and calling for peace. Following their press conference, the NGOs representatives delivered their statement to the Russian Embassy. Read their statement below.
Stop the War in Ukraine! Give Peace a Chance!
On 24 February, Russia launched a full-scale invasion against Ukraine. Since the massive Russian military force stationed at the border of Ukraine simultaneously advanced to the eastern, northern and southern borders of Ukraine, it took only one day to surround Kyiv, the capital. At least 450 Ukrainians were killed on the first day of invasion. The attack is ongoing.
Russia should immediately stop the war on Ukraine and withdraw its troops.
War is a crime against humanity with catastrophic consequences. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violates the UN Charter which stipulates sovereignty, independence, respect for territorial integrity of UN member states, and refraining from the threats or use of force. It is an act that infringes on the principle of the international community which seeks to solve problems through diplomacy, not by force. We, together with people around the world, call for peace, and strongly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We urge the Russian government to immediately stop all military actions and to withdraw its military forces.
The international community should provide humanitarian support to Ukraine.
Due to Russia’s invasion, the lives and security of Ukrainians are under serious threat. Since 2014, when the conflict began in the eastern part of Ukraine, around 850,000 people have been internally displaced, and the number of displaced people is expected to rise up to 5 million in the future. The international community should make its utmost efforts to immediately provide humanitarian support to Ukrainians.
There is no military solution! Russia and the international community must use diplomatic and peaceful solutions.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine completely ignores the international community's efforts to solve the problems of Ukraine with a peaceful agreement during the past few years. It is a clear infringement of sovereignty for Russia to ‘approve independence’ of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic in the Eastern part of Ukraine and send troops in the name of protecting them. Russia is justifying its invasion with its concern of Ukraine joining NATO, but attacking based on concerns is undoubtedly a ‘preemptive attack’.
The US and other Western countries must stop actions to escalate tensions in the region such as expanding military alliances, strengthening military forces, and deploying arms. Members of NATO expanded even after the Cold War with 14 new member countries. From 2008, it opened possibilities for Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO, which shares borders with Russia. Russia has raised the issue that NATO's eastward expansion is threatening its security.
All countries, including Russia and Ukraine, have interests related to security assurance. However, these interests should be achieved only by peaceful means and through diplomacy while considering similar interests of other countries. We urge the relevant governments and organizations including Russia, Ukraine, NATO, the OSCE and the UN to immediately start negotiations for a peaceful solution. The South Korean government should also follow its Constitution that it ‘shall endeavor to maintain international peace and renounce all aggressive wars’ and implement all possible diplomatic measures for a peaceful solution.
We strongly stand in solidarity with all people living in Ukraine’s territory and support the people of Russia who are against the war. South Korean civil society calls for peace and stands in solidarity with people around the world who are against this war.
The statement is endorsed by 393 South Korean NGOs :
2030 Women Youth Activists Governance Study Group, 416Network Seongnam, 60+ Climate Action, AAYC (Asian American Youth Council), Activism Rrtist Group Hanppyeom, Activists group for Human Rights ‘BARAM’, Advocates for Public Interest Law, Aha-Mediation Community, AKU KFEM, All for little one, Anne's Friends, Anyway Circus, Assocation of Physicians for Humanism, Asia Peace and History Education Network, Asunaro(yangsan), Attention2Space, BEANTTANG, BIYN(Basic Income Youth Network), Bomoon brooks, Book Club <Republic of the Humanitas>, Booyeo Environment Solidarity, Boryeong Energy Transition Forum, Buddhist Ecological Contents Institute, Busan Climate Guardians, BUTTL' Chungnam Human Rights Education Activists Group, Candle Church, Catholic Church of Korea Jeju Diocese, Catholic Human Rights Commission, Catholic Uijeongbu Diocese Migration Committee, Center for Cultural Society, Center for Military Human Rights, Korea, Cheonggyecheon Anti-Gentrification Alliance, Christ Research Center Nehemiah Jejus Social Action, Christian Ethics Movement Korea, Christian Film Festival For Everyone, Christian Solidarity for Justice and Peace, Chun Cheon Nanum House, Chun Cheon WomenLink, Chungbuk Teachers’ Union, Citizen's Gathering for World Peace, Citizens' Solidairty for Budget Monitoring, Citizens' Solidarity to Clear Corruption of the Jogye Order, Citizens’ Coalition for Democratic Media, Citizens’ Institute for Environmental Studies, Civilian Military Watch, Climate Crisis Christian Solidairity, Climate Justice Alliance Korea, Climate Rascals, Climate Strike in Namyangju, Companion-Lawyers for Public Interst, COVIL, Creating Impact, CriticalC, Cultural Action, Cultural-Network Incheon, Daechuri Peace Village, Daejeon Institute for Civil Society Research, Daejeon Teachers' Union, Daejeon University Students Network, DAPLS(Dream Art Play Learning Sharing), Dasan Human rights Center, DasoneyCenter for Independents Living, Daughter's of Saint Paul, Disability Discrimination Acts Solidarity in Korea, Diversity Korea, Doctors of Korean Medicine for Health Rights, DOKKOMALI, Dongduk Women's University Feminist Society WTFeminism, DongJak Ma-eumkkeos, Dongjak Community Radio, DPSPDS(Deajeon People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy & Self-government), Durebang Shelter for Migrant Women, Duruduru School, DxE Korea, Dynamite Youth, Ecoaction Ewha, Ecobook, Education Newspaper, Ellipse Church, Energy Justice Actions, Engineers and Scientists for Change (ESC), Equal Path Opened by Workers, Euuworkunion, Female Students Council of Korea University, Femi-drawing, Feminism Education Platform be.do., Feminism Party, Flaming Feminist Action, Francican Missionaries of Mary, Gangjeong Peace Network, Gangjeong's Friends, Generation Welfare Sympathy, GeoJe City Contingent Worker Center, Ggumggi Kiumteo, Global Catholic Climate Movement Korea, Global Civic Sharing, Global Women Reading Group DDoah, Go & Do, Gongju-si Reading Women Collective Behavior, Good Teacher, Goyang Green Party, Goyang YMCA, Green Asia Network, Green Korea United, Green Party Geonggi, Green Party Gwangak-Dongjak, Green Party Korea Climate Justice Committee, Green Party Korea International Committee, Green Party Mapo, Green Party of Korea, Green Party Seoul, Green Transition Youth Group, Green United Korea in Daejeon, Guro Climate Crisis Urgent Action, Guro Labor Investigating Group(GLIG), guroicoop, Gwang-ju Human Rights Center Hwaljjak, Gwang-ju Youth Community Union, Gwangju association of social science studies <ALDA>, Gwangju People’s House, GYEONGGI Teacher Union, Gyeongsan(Gyeongbuk) Migrant Labor Center, Happyeduss, Hculturecoop, Hi Global Citizenship Education Facilitator Association, Holy Family, Holy Family Uijeongbu Hyewhadong Office, Homeless Action, Homobookers, Hope Center with Migrant Workers, Hospital of sisters, Human Asia, Human Rights Center of NCCK, Human Rights Committee in Gwangju NCC, Human Rights Education Center DEUL, Human Rights Education ONDA, Hwabook Church, Hyanglyn Church, Hyunchon Church, Imaginepeace, Immigrants Advocacy Center Gamdong, Incheon People for Queer Human Rights, Incheon Regional Solidarity, Institute for Trans/Gender/Queer Studies, Institute of Green Transformation, Institute of History-Culture in Dongjak, Institution for the Right to Found Family, Institution Politics Economics, Inter-religious Climate and Ecology Network, International Waters31, Intrenational Next KDJ Foundation, Jeju Budget Monitoring Citizens' Group, Gopjindon., Jeju Dark Tours, Jeju Peace Human Rights Center, Jeonbuk Solidarity for peace & humanrights, Jeonbuk Teachers Union, Jesuit Commission on Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation, Jesuit in Korea, Jesuit Research Center for advocacy and solidarity, Jirisan Feminists, Jirisan Film, JPIC of Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Jungrang People's House People and Commune, Justice and Peace Priests' Association, Anglican Church of Korea, Justice Party Gwangju, Justice Party Gyeongnam Teen Committee, Justice Party International relations & US-China hegemonic Competition’ Study Group, Justice Party Members’ Group for International Solidarity, Justice Party Special Committee for Peace on the Korean Peninsula, Justice Party Transportation Policy Club - Jeonggada, Justice Yooth Party Seoul Student Committee, Justice Youth Party Gyeong-gi Provincial Committee, Kaesong Center, KFEM(Korea Federation for Environmental Movements), knotforhealth, Koean Catholic Women’s Community for a World, Korea Association for Restorative Justice, Korea Brahma Kumaris Association, Korea Council of Centers for Independent Living (KCIL), Korea Food for the Hungry International, Korea Human Right Education Center, Korea Labor and Civil Society Energy Network, Korea Missionari Sacratissimi Cordis, Korea Refugees Rights Network, Korea Silk Research Institute, Korea Students with Disabilities Network for All, Korea University <Little Freedom>, Korea University independent press Kodaemunhwa, Korea University Kuwheel, Korea Women's Hot Line, Korea Women's Political Solidarity, Korea Women’s Associations United(KWAU), Korea-Vietnam Peace Foundation, Korean Catholic Federation for Justice, Korean Church of Jesus Solidarity, Korean Communitiy Organization Network for Education & Training, Korean Confederation of Trade Union-Legal Advice Team Gwangju Office, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions-Korea Language Instructors Union at Yeonsei, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU), Korean Disability Forum, Korean Educators for Diversity Education & Multicultural Education & Global Citizen Education, Korean Federation Medical Activist Groups for Health Rights(Association of Korea Doctors for health rights, Association of Physicians for Humanism, Korean Dentist's Association for Healthy Society, Korean Nurses association for health rights, Korean Pharmacists for Democratic Society, Solidarity for worker's health), Korean House for International Solidarity, Korean Internet Journalist Association, Korean Irregular Professor Union, Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights (KLPH), Korean Metal Workers' Union (KMWU) Gwangju-Jeonnam Branch, Korean Nurses association for health rights, Korean Pragmatic Teacher΄s Federation(K.T.F.), Korean Progressive Network 'Jinbonet', Korean Public Service and Transport workers' Union Jeonbuk Branch, Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU) Gwangju-Jeonnam Branch, Korean Sexual-minority Culture & Rights Center, Korean Solidarity for Overseas Community Organization, Korean Union of Public Sector Research and Professional Workers (KUPRP), Korean Union of Secondary School Teachers, Korean Women Workers Association, KPTU - Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union, KSETU(Korea Special Education Teachers Union), Kubonki Education Research Center, KUPRP ETRI branch, KUPRP IPET branch, KUPRP KEIT branch, Labor Urban Solidarity, Labor·Politics·People, Life & Peace Church, Life & Safety Network, Listen to the City, Little Servants of the Holy Family of Incheon Province, Loving Hands, Manet Sangsahwa, May Mothers House, Media Christianity, Memorial Committee for the Jeju April 3rd Uprising and Massacre, Memorial Committee to remember Deulbul Martyr, Migrants Trade Union, MINBYUN - Lawyers for a Democratic Society, Minjuyanolja, Minsnail Union, Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mixed of Culture & Art, Monthly Drama, Musician Union, NanumMunhwa, National Council of Churches Busan, National Council of YMCAs of Korea, National Nutrition Teachers' Union, National YWCA of KOREA, Network for Glocal Activism, Network for Green Transfort, Network Re:, New Bodhisattva Network, NGODAGACHI, No New Work, North Gyeonggi Peace Action, NUELPUEM, One Korea Tree, Open Network, Open Together Church, Order of Friars Minor, Order of Friars Minor Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation, Order of Friars Minor, Ben Egidio Friary, Order Secular Franciscan in the Incheon Bonaventura, Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis, Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis in Seoul Francisco, Palestine Peace and Solidarity in South Korea, Pax Christi Korea, Peace Academy Sanwool, Peace Earth, Peace Movement Research Center Taohwazen, Peace Network, PeaceGround, PEACEMOMO, People not Profit, People Who Record the World, People who want Seogwipo City's bypass road to become a green park, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), People's Solidarity for Self-Governing in Jeju, People's Solidarity for Social Progress (PSSP), People's Solidarity for Social Progress (PSSP) Gwangju-Jeonnam Branch, People's Solidarity for Social Progress (PSSP) Incheon Branch, Peoples’s Health Institute, PIDA(People’s Initiative for Development Alternatives), Plagami, Platform C, Professors for Democracy, Progress 3.0, Progressive Korea, Public Kindergarten Teachers Union, Public Private Party, Pyeongtaek Peace Center, Pyeongtaek Women's Rights Counselling Center - PUM, Queer Feminism Team(Hyanglin Church), Re’Generation Movement, ReadingN, Robin Party, Routeon Coop, Sangyeojas, Sapo, SARANGBANG Group for Human Rights, SCDP(Solidarity for Cultural Democratic Practice), SE4A: Incheon SWeducaiton Teacher Study Group, Seesaw Pictures, Seogyo Institute of Humanities and Social Studies, Seoknam Catholic Church, Seongmunbakk Church, Seoul Disabled People's Rights Film Festival, Seoul Human Rights Film Festival, Seoul metropolitan council, SHARE(center for Sexual rigHts And Reproductive justicE), Sisters of Divine Providence, Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Slow Food Korea, Social Cooperation Insarangcare, Sogang University Gender Studies, Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination, Solidarity for Another World, Solidarity for Child Rights Movement Jieum, Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea, Solidarity for Peace and Human Rights of Asia, Solidarity's Action, South Korea Bukbu Workers Solidarity, St. Francis Peace Center Foundation, St. John of God JPIC, Steppingstones for Peace, Student March, Student March Gwangju-Jeonnam Branch, Studio 102, Suknamdong Catholic Church, Sungsan Methodist Church, Sunlit Sisters' Center, Supporters Group for Migrant Workers Movement, Suwon Center for Environment Movement, Suwon Migrants Center, Suwon Youth Sexuality Human Rights Center, Switch, Taepyeong 2-dong Home Welfare Center, Task Force Against Fine Dust and High Voltage Transmission Tower, Teacher for Praxis, The BoardGamer Guide to Computer Science, The Center for Freedom of Information, The Colored People, The Committe for Youth Ministry, The Creator in front of the Climate Crisis, The Declaration of Global Citizens, The Fellowship with the Sufferers, The Frontiers, The Gyeonggi Multicultural News, THE INDIGO, The INDIGO, The Korea Association of Christian Women for Women Minjung (KACWWM), The Korea Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, The Korean Center for Nonviolent Communication, The Korean Professors Union, The May 18 Memorial Foundation, The National Council of Churches in Korea, Reconciliation &Unification Committee, The National Youth Association of The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROKY), The People’s Solidarity for Korea Youth Policy, The Seoul branch of Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination, THE SEUM, The Wave of Our Freedom, The Wednesday Peace Studies Group, The women's Human Rights Solidarity in Gijichon, Think_bada, Todak Bookshop, Translation community ITTA, Ulsan People's Solidarity, URURU, Vegan Community ‘asack-asack’, Wild Flower Hyanglin Church (PROK), Women Making Peace, Womenlink, Woorong Sentence, Worker's Solidarity from Below in Jeonbuk, Workers' Educational Institution, World Without War, Wowbook Culture and Arts Center, Yonsei University Irregular Workers Group, Yonsei University social science college student council emergency measure committee, Young People with Masan, Youth Climate Emergency Action, Youth Open Platform Y, Youth Policy Net, Youth Union, Youths Action for Myanmar, Zevi Climate Action, ZoomaS
Translated by Gayoon Baek, Lina Koleilat, Aram Ko