IRU writes letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the conflict in Ukraine and concerns for Roma in Ukraine and the region

It says:


Dear Mr. António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres 


The International Roma Union (IRU) is following with great concern the situation regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the developments that have affected the world in the last week.

At the same time, the IRU is closely following the subsequent developments regarding the possible efforts for negotiations as well as the cessation of the armed conflict in Ukraine and the establishment of peace.


The conflict itself has already caused terrible suffering to  the people of Ukraine, damage to Ukraine infrastructure and at the same time the refugee crisis has begun on a major scale. The refugee crisis itself has created an exodus of the population.


But also to those who do not have the opportunity to leave Ukraine, staying in their homes in crisis hotspots faced with a lack of products for minimal survival (food, hygiene items, heating, health care, etc.) is. We know that the most affected by this are those who have contributed the least to this conflict, and that is the civilian population.


The IRU expresses its concern about this whole situation, and also sees it from a broader perspective. The refugee wave itself, as well as all those who remain in Ukraine without the possibility of leaving it are left at the mercy of military attacks with their lives on the line.

Learned from past experiences of various conflicts in different regions around the world, the IRU expresses its concern in addition to caring for the entire civilian population and at the same time concerning the smaller ethnic communities in those conflict regions, including the Roma community.


From the bitter experiences of the past in such situations we are well aware that the Roma community can be neglected in  the refugee waves as the rest of the population from those crisis hotspots. through a lack of understanding of their needs.

There are many examples, as in the recent past (Syria, Afghanistan, etc.) at the same time and a little further away (Kosovo, BiH, Croatia, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, etc.).


Recognizing these developments, the IRU as a Roma International organization expresses its readiness immediately with its existing resources, instruments and mechanisms to coordinate the efforts for Roma refugees from this country with international organisations and neighbouring governments, as well as for the Roma community that has no opportunity to leave their homes in Ukraine with the government of Ukraine.


IRU through its delegates and members who are from different countries in the world with all the combined capacity and resources, from the NGO sector where these IRU members and delegates are based, are at your disposal to respond and mediate from every aspect of coordination from logistics, humanitarian or other needs.


This means that the IRU is ready to give its full contribution and engagement both in Ukraine and in other countries that will be involved in activities under any kind of assistance and coordination of the civilian population. This refers to those countries that are in the immediate vicinity of Ukraine, as well as countries that are ready to receive refugees from Ukraine.


All this would be done with you and in mutual coordination and cooperation.

We as IRU believe in the efforts to establish lasting peace and tolerance at the moment that is in the center of interest, and that is Ukraine.

But at the same time we must be prepared for a worse "black scenario" to ameliorate the suffering of the people of Ukraine.


The IRU and its delegates and members will continue to closely monitor developments related to this conflict, and will endeavor to contribute to the consistent implementation of a lasting peace, with their own information, announcements, logistics and insights.


Our office is available immediately for the coordination of these urgent efforts. The Roma people of Ukraine are urging for a coordinated effort on the refugee crisis as well as a coordinated effort to support the Roma people staying inside Ukraine.


Please contact us through our President in our office. 


With respect

Zoran Dimov

President of the IRU


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