International high-level dialogue forum

Shaping a globalised world

sef: Statement on the war in Ukraine

"War is no longer the ultima ratio but rather the ultima irratio."
Willy Brandt, 11 December 1971, on the occasion of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.

With the decision to wage a war of aggression against neighbouring Ukraine, Russian President Putin has once again violated the integrity of Europe's borders and the right of self-determination of its peoples. The existing European peace order has thus been shaken to its foundations. This severe disregard for international law by the government of a nuclear power, which has the right of veto in the United Nations Security Council, is also causing great damage to the global order.

War is not an appropriate means of conflict resolution. The primary goal must be to end the use of force immediately and thus avoid further escalation. Defending life and limb, freedom, democracy and the rule of law requires decisive action by European states and all peaceful members of the international community. The sef: welcomes the fact that the EU and many European states have swiftly put into force a number of powerful economic sanctions, in close partnership with the United States. Solidarity with our fellow citizens in Ukraine and deep concern for our common world demand that we also accept the associated negative consequences. Solidarity also goes out to all those who courageously oppose the regime in Russia, who put their personal well-being at risk to do so, and who are unintentionally affected by the consequences of the sanctions.

Working on a new European peace order and strengthening the global order based on international law are urgent tasks that must be pursued. The sef: will continue to devote its full energy to this effort in the spirit of one of its founding fathers, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Willy Brandt.

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