WMA Council Resolution in support of Medical Personnel and Citizens of Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion


PREAMBLE

Reminding that the World Medical Association was founded on the backdrop of the atrocities of war and how the medical profession was abused for violation of human rights and dignity;

Reaffirming the WMA Declaration of Geneva as a beacon of fundamental principles to which the world’s physicians are committed;

Deeply shocked by the Russian army’s bombing of Ukrainian civilians and hospitals, including maternity wards, thus infringing on medical neutrality in conflict zones. The WMA and its members express their solidarity with the Ukrainian people and provide their support for Ukrainian and international healthcare workers mobilized under extremely difficult conditions;

Recalling the WMA’s Statements on the Cooperation of National Medical Associations during or in the Aftermath of Conflicts, on Armed Conflicts, the Regulations in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence, the Statement on the Protection and Integrity of Medical Personnel in Armed Conflicts and Other Situations of Violence, the Declaration on the protection of healthcare workers in emergency situations and the Statement on Medical Care for Migrants;

Emphasizing the need to respect the Geneva Conventions and their protocols as the core of international humanitarian law, as well as the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2286;

Considering the suffering and human tragedy caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including a refugee crisis on a massive scale;

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. The Constituent Members of the WMA stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian Medical Association and all healthcare professionals;
  2. The WMA condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for an end to hostilities; The WMA considers that Russia’s political leadership and armed forces bear responsibility for the human suffering caused by the conflict;
  3. The WMA calls on Russian and Ukrainian doctors to hold high the principles in the WMA Declaration of Geneva and other documents that serve as guidance for medical personnel during times of conflict;
  4. The WMA demands that the parties to the conflict respect relevant Humanitarian Law and do not use health facilities as military quarters, nor target health institutions, workers and vehicles, or restrict the access of wounded persons and patients to healthcare, as set out in the WMA Declaration on the Protection of Health Workers in Situations of Violence;
  5. The WMA stresses that the parties to the conflict must strive to protect the most vulnerable populations;
  6. The WMA underlines that it is essential that access to medical care be guaranteed to all victims, civil or military, of this conflict, without distinction.
  7. Physicians and all other medical personnel, both Ukrainian and international, involved in NGOs, must not under any circumstances be hindered in the exercise of their unwavering duty, in accordance with the international recommendations provided in the WMA declaration on the protection of healthcare workers in emergency situations, the WMA’s position on the protection and integrity of medical personnel in armed conflicts and other violent situations and in the declaration of the United Nations General Assembly on the rights and responsibility of individuals, groups and organs of society to promote and protect human rights and universally recognized fundamental freedoms.
  8. The WMA calls on the parties to ensure that essential services are provided to those within areas damaged and disrupted by conflict;
  9. The WMA calls on the international community and governments to come to the aid of all persons displaced by this conflict – more than 10 million to date – who may choose their country as a destination following their departure from Ukraine.
  10. The WMA urges all nations receiving persons fleeing the conflict to ensure access to safe and adequate living conditions and essential services to all migrants, including appropriate medical care, as needed.
  11. The WMA calls on the parties to the conflict as well as the international community to ensure that when the conflict ends, priority must be given to rebuilding the essential infrastructure necessary for a healthy life, including shelter, sewerage, fresh water supplies, and food provision, followed by the restoration of educational and occupational opportunities.

 

 

Conflict, Ethics, Human Rights, Medical Neutrality, Ukraine, War