Published On: Tue, Jan 10th, 2023

International Conference May Facilitate Peace Momentum On Russia, Ukraine

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By Janet Ekstract

ISTANBUL-The push for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine is gaining momentum as Turkish officials look for ways to make this possible. To that end, Turkiye’s Ombudsmen Institution (KDK) in a formal statement said the Turkish presidential complex and a hotel in Ankara will be hosting the International Ombudsman conference with the EU and human rights organizations from at least 35 countries on January 11-12. Chief Turkish Ombudsman Seref Malkoc said in the statement that a purpose of the conference is to bring ombudsmen from Russia and Ukraine together at this event. The conference entitled The Future of Human Rights in the 21st Century will see participation by over 50 ombudsmen with opening remarks given by Turkish President Erdogan. 

The Turkish leader in a statement to the press, reiterated that war has no winners, that women and children are the ones who suffer the major brunt and that the war in Ukraine must end as soon as possible, adding that it was his major wish. Malkoc explained that the Turkish president’s efforts to put an end to the conflict in Ukraine are crucial and that he believes there will be concrete results from it. Turkiye is bringing together rights commissioners of Ukraine and Russia to discuss forming a humanitarian corridor in an effort to facilitate talks between the two nations. Malkoc said: “We will try to determine a roadmap on children’s rights, human rights, the exchange of the wounded and soldiers during the trilateral meeting.” Malkoc added: “The Ukrainian ombudsman came to Turkiye and visited our institution,” commenting that Turkiye would like to see a ceasefire as quickly as possible and that the majority of the two-day conference will be focused on “what we can do for the captives.”

The conference will include four sessions with changes and developments in human rights under discussion as well as the responsibilities and roles of national ombudsmen and human rights representatives in the protection and development of human rights and their contributions. Additional sessions on the Effects of Digitalization on Human Rights, Human Rights Issues in War, Conflict and Migration Environments, Human Rights Issues in Pandemic Processes, The Role of Ombudsmen in the Protection and Development of Human Rights in the 21st Century. Malkoc said: “We invite all humanity to strive for a ceasefire and an honorable peace that will protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.” While adding a caveat: “However, we watch with astonishment that unfortunately, some states and heads of state are striving for the continuation of the war instead of supporting peace efforts.”

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