Common security, nuclear risks and the OSCE in the wake of the Ukraine conflict

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is impacting significantly on the European security framework. The European Union has facilitated a sweeping package of economic sanctions against Russia, unlike anything undertaken by the EU in any previous conflict. The invasion has elevated the risks of nuclear war, and stimulated Sweden and Finland to abandon their historical neutral status and apply to join NATO – a nuclear alliance.In light of Russia’s violation of the UN Charter and security arrangements such as the Budapest Memorandum and Minsk agreements, it would be tempting to conclude that common security frameworks such as the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are becoming irrelevant to address security concerns. However, this event will highlight the opposite – that it is in times of such conflict and high tension that common security approaches and other mechanisms for diplomacy and nuclear risk-reduction are vital and should be strengthened, not abandoned. Common Security refers to building security between nations through international law, diplomacy and conflict resolution. It is based on the notion that national security cannot be achieved or sustained by threatening or reducing the security of other nations, but only by ensuring that the security of all nations is advanced.For more background see For Our Shared Future: Common Security 2022 Report, Olof Palme International Centre. Also of relevance is the recent resolution of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Forging a Path to Peace and Common Security.

Co-sponsors: Basel Peace Office, Détente Now, Initiatives pour le désarmement Nucléaire, G100 (Group of 100 Women Leaders) Defence and Security Wing, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, World Future Council, Youth Fusion


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at or For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit

Cease the war against Ukraine and resolve it peacefully and diplomatically, civil society organizations said in a joint statement

New York City, 4 March 2022 (CoNGO Infonews) – Civil society organizations that are predominantly women’s NGOs today issued a statement against the war in Ukraine. The seven initiating groups called for “an immediate halt to hostilities, for all troops to be withdrawn, and for good-faith, peaceful, diplomatic negotiations to begin in a neutral territory.” They issued the statement after the United Nations General Assembly and UN Secretary-General António Guterres have called for an immediate cessation to the conflict, outlining that it contravenes the UN Charter.

CoNGO President Liberato Bautista welcomed the initiative of the organizations, stating that the joint drafting process demonstrated “the best example of NGO good practice”. The call to endorse the statement leverages CoNGO’s convening platform for NGOs to consult, collaborate and cooperate together.

The original proponents of the statement welcome endorsement of the statement by other civil society organizations.  To add your endorsement, please send an email to with the name and headquarter location of the organization, and the name of the responsible person agreeing to the endorsement.


Statement Against the War in Ukraine

5 March 2022

Soroptimist International, Associated Country Women of the World, International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Graduate Women International,  International Alliance of Women, Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, Zonta International and the NGO Committee on Aging-Vienna stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, who have found themselves in an unwanted conflict.

During the 20th Century, Europe and the world strove to recover from devastating wars. Now, war has returned to the continent to the detriment of humanity. The human impacts of this war will reach far into the future. This conflict is in clear violation of international law, which forbids acts of aggression, the UN Charter and human rights for all. International humanitarian and human rights law must be upheld; the targeting of civilians constitutes a crime against humanity and a war crime.

Together, we call for an immediate halt to hostilities, for all troops to be withdrawn, and for good-faith, peaceful, diplomatic negotiations to begin in a neutral territory. The actions of states must place the good of citizens and humanity at their heart, accordingly, all civilians must be protected.

War is never gender-neutral. Women and girls in all their diversity are always disproportionately affected by war, and it is no different in this conflict. The projections that millions will be displaced and will become refugees, are being realised with thousands fleeing daily. Many of those on the move are women and girls; specific, targeted, gender-transformative programmes must be immediately developed and implemented to ensure that their lives, hopes and dreams are not irreparably damaged by this war.

Women and girls caught up in this humanitarian crisis will miss out on valuable education. They are at increased risks of early or child marriage, trafficking, sexual exploitation and gender-based violence. Women and girls will now be unable to access vital medical services, including sexual and reproductive health treatment and support. The UN Population Fund has shared how pregnant women, new mothers and babies are having to be cared for in make-shift underground bunkers or are giving birth in metro stations as health facilities become unsafe or are too damaged to function.

Older and disabled women struggle to escape conflict areas as transportation becomes unsafe and usual support is no longer available. Girls and women of all ages are now facing an uncertain future with increasing fear under shelling. Many will be left with long-term trauma. The infrastructure damage caused by war sets back sustainable development, and the achievement of gender equality.

With the presence of working nuclear power plants in a war zone, the environmental risks are significant during a time when the world is already facing a climate crisis. Now, Russian nuclear forces are on high alert. The consequences of any nuclear fallout would be unimaginable and devastating to the Ukrainian people, the environment of neighbouring countries and the world. International institutions and the global political system have been constructed to avoid just such an eventuality. In 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was negotiated and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, both major steps towards a non-nuclear world. Any nuclear threats must be stepped down.

Civil society organisations such as Soroptimist International, Associated Country Women of the World, International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Graduate Women International,  International Alliance of Women, Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, Zonta International and the NGO Committee on Aging-Vienna are frequently the first responders on-the-ground, as they live in the affected communities, witnessing these challenges first hand, finding immediate solutions and distributing aid.

Members of civil society open their homes to refugees, feeding those on the move, and promoting their safety. This is already happening in Ukraine and neighbouring countries; these humanitarian efforts must be supported. Due to the nature of refugee dispersal and internally displaced persons, collecting thorough and reliable disaggregated data on women and girls in all their diversity will be almost impossible. This will make it difficult to assess the total impacts of this war on women and girls, including those living in rural and remote communities and those from indigenous communities less well-known outside of Ukraine.

The United Nations General Assembly and UN Secretary-General António Guterres have called for an immediate cessation to the conflict, outlining that it contravenes the UN Charter. The UN General Assembly has now voted overwhelmingly to condemn the invasion of Ukraine and has called for Russia to withdraw its forces. Soroptimist International, Associated Country Women of the World, International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Graduate Women International,  International Alliance of Women, Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, Zonta International  and the NGO Committee on Aging-Vienna support these calls.

Soldiers must be withdrawn from hostilities on Ukrainian soil and political leaders must seek a peaceful resolution. International law and diplomacy should always be the mechanism to peacefully address disagreements between states; the needless destruction of war is only to the detriment of all people. In our interconnected world, we can see first-hand the rapidly increasing impacts of this conflict. We can all learn from the human stories which demonstrate the pointlessness, futility and devastation of war. Protests and acts of resistance and human understanding are being joined worldwide. The signatories of this statement join the call of many across the world for this war to end now.


{To endorse the statement, send email to, including the name and headquarter location of the organization, and the name of the responsible person agreeing to the endorsement).

ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS (As of March 11, 2022, 01:030PM EDT):

Original Proponents
Soroptimist International
Associated Country Women of the World | ACWW | United Kingdom
International Federation of Business and Professional Women | IFBPW
Graduate Women International | GWI
International Alliance of Women | IAW
Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas | FAWCO
Zonta International
NGO Committee on Aging-Vienna

Co-endorsers in the order received
Pan Pacific South East Asia Women’s Association | PPSEAWA
Universal Esperanto Association | UEA
Servas International
International Association of Applied Psychology | IAAP | France
World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation | WAPR
L’Association des Femmes de l’Europe Méridionale | AFEM | France
International Office for Catholic Education | OIEC | Italy
Sisters of Charity Federation | SCF
Mother’s Legacy Project | MLP | USA
World Council for Psychotherapy | WCP
Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem | OSMTH | Scotland
Greek League for Women’s Rights | GLWR | Greece
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers | USA
World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women | WFMUCW | Global
Credo Action | Togo
Maryknoll Sisters | USA
Virinoj por la Mondo | Women for the World
International Women’s Development Agency | IWDA | Australia
VIVAT International | USA
Japan Asia Cultural Exchanges, Inc. | JACE | USA
Soka Gakkai International | SGI | Japan
International Women’s Year Liaison Group | IWYLG | Japan
International Council of Women
Make Mothers Matter | MMM | France
Young Global Leadership Foundation | YGLF
United Methodist Church—General Board of Church and Society | UMC-GBCS | USA
Mercy International Association | Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Pax Christi International | PCI
United Methodist Women | UMW | USA
International Federation on Ageing | IFA | Canada
Servicio Profesionales Desarollo Rural / Agricultura | SEDRA | Chile
World Organization for Early Childhood Education | OMEP |
US Women’s Caucus at the UN | USA
The Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya | I.M.A.M. | USA
Generations United | GU | USA
The World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations | WFUWO | Canada
Women First International Fund | USA
CGFNS International | USA
Miriam College (Philippines)
International Council of Women | ICW-CIF |
Kolping International | Germany
STUF United Fund | USA
Club Ohada Thies | Senegal
International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Center | IFSNC | Sweden/Finland
Inner Wheel International | IIC | United Kingdom)
Council of Organizations of the United Nations Association of the USA
The Unforgotten |
National Grange | USA
National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. | NJCDLP | USA
NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY

Interfaith “Global Prayers for Ukraine”

Interfaith “Global Prayers for Ukraine”

A Special Multi-Faith Service for Peace and Freedom at the UN

People of faith across the world have condemned the escalation of violence from Russia and have declared steadfast support for Ukraine and its people in the defense of their sovereignty and their democracy.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions and The Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN, in partnership with communities of faith, invite people and communities of faith, spirituality, and conscience to join the “Global Prayers for Ukraine: a multi-faith service for peace and freedom in a hurting world”.

The prayer service will feature prayers from diverse faith expressions upholding peace and freedom, share reflections of solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian community around the world, call for a peaceful resolution to this conflict, and listen to messages from our sisters and brothers in Ukraine.

The interfaith service will be hosted on Thursday, March 3rd at 12 noon Eastern Time at the United Nations Church Center Chapel, open to the New York City community in-person and live streamed to participants around the world via Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube.

This event is organized in partnership with:

Get Involved

Is your community supporting those affected by the conflict on the ground? Share the information on how the global interfaith movement can support your efforts at


Message from the Chaplain of the Church Center for the United Nations

Greetings dear friends,
As a CCUN community, we have certainly kept the people of Ukraine and the many severe armed conflict areas around the world in prayer during our  weekly worship services last week and will continue as this needs a sustained effort of global prayer and petitions for peace. 
However, this Thursday 3 March at 12noon (EDT) the CCUN will host Dr. Scott Stearman, Vice Chair of the Parliament of World Religions, the NGO Committee of Human Rights and several global multifaith leaders in a special prayer service for Ukraine.  I have shared with the PWR leadership that there many ecumenical and interfaith organizations within our CCUN community that have also held respective services, but may also want to partner with us in solidarity for this Thursdays’ service.  This would simply mean having your logo on the promotional materials, on the program and of course if you are able to be either physically present in the Chapel or on line, you are most welcome. 
Below are the draft materials and will be sent out widely today.  If you are interested in being a supporting partner in this prayer service, please reply to this email (which includes Dr. Stearman’s email) with your logo as soon as possible.  The link to the all the media items, promotional materials, etc. is below)  If you are unable to add your organizations’ name at this time, we understand. Please know that we will carry your prayers into the sacred space on Thursday and we will continue to labor together in community around the things that make for peace.  As I’ve said many times before, but it bears repeating in this moment….it is an honor to serve God and humanity alongside each of you. 
-Rev. D
Rev. Dionne P. Boissière, MDiv.
Chaplain of the Church Center for the United Nations
777 United Nations Plaza, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(212) 682-3633, ext. 3127


The geopolitical context of the Ukraine Crisis!


to an

“The geopolitical context of the Ukraine Crisis!”

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022
Time: 15:00 hours (3:00 PM CET); Login from 14:45 hours (2:45 PM CET)
Venue: Zoom video conference – link will be sent to registered participants*


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinz Gärtner

Prof. Dr. Heinz Gärtner is lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna and at the Danube University in Krems. He was academic director of the Austrian Institute for International Affairs. He has held various Fulbright Fellowships and the Austrian Chair at Stanford University. He was Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. Among other things, he chairs the advisory board of the International Institute for Peace in Vienna and of the commission Strategy and Security of the Austrian Armed Forces. He published widely on issues of international security, transatlantic relations and the Middle East. Heinz Gärtner received the Bruno Kreisky (legendary former Austrian Chancellor) Award for most outstanding Political Books.

Recipients of this invitation, or their guests, who wish to attend the video conference, are kindly requested to register by sending an email with:
1) Title: Mr. or Ms.;
2) Separate indication of their family name and given name; and
3) their email address


Registration will close at 11:00 on Monday, February 21st, 2022
Registered participants will receive a link to join the meeting shortly thereafter.


CoNGO Notes: For information about CoNGO–the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, visit For more information about how CoNGO and its substantive committees (also known as NGO Committees) work on matters related to the subject of the event on this page, visit NGO Committees. For specific information about the work of the NGO Committee on Peace in Vienna, contact its chair, Helga Kerschbaum (Pax Romana) at

[HLPF virtual lab] Aligning reporting processes: VNRs & international human rights mechanisms

Aligning reporting processes: Voluntary National Reviews and international human rights mechanisms
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York are pleased to invite you to a showcase of best practices in aligning VNR reports with reporting to and engagement with the international human rights mechanisms. Speakers will demonstrate how such strategic alignment can lead to concrete benefits such as improved quality of reporting, reduced reporting burdens, increased participatory nature of reporting, and accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The event will take place on Monday, 13 July, at 8am EDT (New York time) / 2pm CEST (Geneva) / 7pm (GMT +7, Bangkok)
  • Amb. Alexander Marschik (chairperson of the event), Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in New York
  • Francella Strickland, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, International Relations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa
  • Amb. Alejandra Solano Cabalceta, Director General of Foreign Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Costa Rica
  • Kateryna Levchenko, Government Commissioner for Gender Policy, Ukraine
  • Judith Ekaete Umoh, Secretary, African Disability Forum, Executive Director, FACICP Disability Plus, Nigeria
  • Mahamane Cisse-Gouro, Director, Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
*Followed by an interactive discussion in English