I do believe in the power of reason and the strength of dialogue. In an ideal world, any conflict or difference between countries should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. The use of military force should always be a last resort.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a flagrant violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. In these ten days that have elapsed since the beginning of the aggression by land, air and sea against the Ukrainian people, we have heard only talk of sanctions for the Russian population, for high-ranking government officials, for important State institutions and for Putin’s inner circle. On the other hand, countless governments and international organizations have extended a generous hand to the people of Ukraine who are today suffering the dramatic consequences of a ruthless attack on their population and territory.
However, the main clamor is to send as much armament as possible so that the brave Ukrainians can face the Russian tanks and aviation, which makes us think that the war will go on for a long time.
There have been sporadic meetings on the border of Belarus and Ukraine between officials of both sides, but at a low level and without decision-making authority on important issues. However, I believe that the time has come to go to a negotiating table to talk and negotiate as soon as possible a ceasefire that will silence the guns and allow us to reach agreements that will lead us to the end of this conflict. It is not by escalating the conflict that the war will be solved.
The lesson I learned from having reached agreements in the Central American wars of the 1980s is that the interlocutors must be at the highest level, such as foreign ministers and, preferably, heads of government.
Achieving peace will never be an easy task and will never be a finished task. We should not lose hope when the solution seems very far away because, as our poet Isaac Felipe Azofeifa said:
– Truly, son,
all the stars have departed.
But it never gets darker
than when the dawn is about to break.
We, the undersigning Nobel Peace Laureates, support the Plea of President Oscar Arias. History has shown us that war and conflict harm children the most. Shells and shrapnel will leave scars on millions of children and innocent people for generations to come. We call on the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, US, EU and the UK to make concrete actions in order to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
President Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel Peace Prize 1987
Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize 1981
President Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize 1996
Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize 1997
Lord William David Trimble, Nobel Peace Prize 1998
Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize 2003
Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel Peace Prize 2005
Mohammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize 2006
Philip Jennings and Lisa Clark, Co-Presidents of the International Peace Bureau, Nobel Peace Organization 2010
Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize 2011
Kailash Sathyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate 2014
Juan Manuel Santos, Nobel Peace Prize 2016