The Head of the UGCC received the Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine

Saturday, 25 November 2017, 18:05
On November 23, took place the working meeting of the Head and Father of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav and the head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ukraine Mr. Alain Aeschlimann at the request of the latter.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as told the head of the Delegation in Ukraine, is a humanitarian organization, which aims to protect life and dignity of people who suffered from armed conflicts and other violent situations, and provide for them the necessary help. Spreading and confirming humanitarian laws and universal humanitarian principles, the ICRC makes every effort to prevent human suffering.


The ICRC is present in more than 80 countries, with almost 13,000 employees. More than 500 people work in Kyiv, Slovians’k, Sievierodonets’k, Mariupil’, Donets’k, Luhansk, and Odesa. According to Mr. Aeschlimann, the development of collaboration between the ICRC and the Churches is of great importance. This is also proved by the ICRC experience in other countries.


Among the main priorities of the ICRC in Ukraine, Mr. Aeschlimann noted assistance to the most vulnerable categories of people in overcoming economic hardships by way of supplying foods, hygiene products, or money to those who live along the demarcation line in Donets’k and Luhansk oblasts, and those who are internally displaced, old, disabled or unemployed.


The Head of the UGCC thanked the ICRC that they, acting on the principles of neutrality, non-bias and independence, demonstrate a great involvement in solving the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.  We, as the Church,” noted His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “are convinced that social ministry is not just an additional activity, but an essential part of our spirituality. Social ministry has a deep religious foundation, for in every needy person, regardless of his nationality, religious or political views, Christ is present.”


Special attention was paid to the role of the ICRC as a neutral mediator. The ICRC workers visit the people who are detained because of the conflict, in order to secure humane attitude to them. On the agreement of all sides, they act as the neutral mediator during the simultaneous release and transfer of the detainees in order to protect their dignity during this process. In this regard, His Beatitude Sviatoslav underlined the special value of such ministry since every such visit becomes for a detainee a sign of hope. His Beatitude Sviatoslav also thanked the representative of the ICRC for their work concerning the missing people, for now almost 1,000 people are considered missing in Ukraine because of the conflict in the East of the country.


During the meeting with the head of the ICRC Delegation in Ukraine, there the work of the UGCC regarding the solving of the crisis caused by the war was represented. “As the Church, we do not interfere in the political processes, but at the same time we want to be the ‘voice of the ‘voiceless’”, said His Beatitude Sviatoslav. Therefore the UGCC alone and together with other denominations-members of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations constantly draws the attention of the state and society to these humanitarian problems and takes part in their solving at different levels. In particular, a significant role belongs to Caritas of Ukraine, the official charity of the UGCC.


The sides agreed that in order to solve the most urgent problems now, Ukraine needs a developed civil society, an important part of which constitute the Churches and religious organizations. “Our common goal is to serve people in their need to the best of our ability, and in order to do this, we need to unite and coordinate our efforts,’ said at the end the Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav.


The UGCC Department for Information


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