India raises concerns at UNSC over humanitarian crisis in Ukraine; Demands safe and uninterrupted passage for all civilians
India has said that the worsening situation in Ukraine and ensuing humanitarian crisis deserves our immediate and urgent attention. In the meeting called by UN Security Council to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, India said an estimated 1.5 million refugees have sought shelter in neighbouring countries of Ukraine over the last 11 days.
India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, T.S. Tirumurti, said at a Council meeting to discuss the humanitarian crisis on Monday, this has led to a pressing humanitarian crisis that needs to be addressed expeditiously.
As per reports, hundreds of Indian nationals, many of them medical students at Sumy State University, have been stranded in the eastern Ukrainian city after evacuation efforts failed due to continuous shelling.
Mr Tirumurti said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again spoke to the leadership of both sides yesterday and reiterated India’s call for immediate ceasefire and the need for both parties to return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy. He said, India has reiterated urgent demand for safe and uninterrupted passage for all innocent civilians, including Indian nationals, remaining in Ukraine.
He said, India is deeply concerned that despite repeated urgings to both sides, the safe corridor for our students stranded in Sumi did not materialise.
Mr. Tirumurti thanked Ukraine and its neighbouring countries for facilitating the return of over 20,000 Indian nationals in the last few days. He expressed India’s willingness to evacuate nationals of other countries as well. He also said India welcomed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s ‘flash appeal’ for Ukraine and his regional refugee response plan.
The Permanent Secretary said, India has already sent seven tranches of humanitarian supplies to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. These include medicines, medical equipment, tents, tarpaulin, protective eye gear and blankets among other relief materials. He said, we are in the process of identifying other such requirements and sending more supplies.
Mr Tirumurti emphasised that it is important that humanitarian action is always guided by the principles of humanitarian assistance, humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. He added, these should not be politicised.