The World Academy of Art and Science condemns the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. It is an illegal act of aggression. It is causing the death of innocent civilians and placing the security of the entire world at risk.
The threat or use of force to resolve disputes is prohibited under Article 2 of the UN Charter. Russia was not under any threat that offered no recourse other than force. In fact, President Putin, in ordering military attacks against Ukraine, has committed a Crime Against Peace in violation of the UN Charter by planning, preparing, initiating, and waging a war of aggression.
Russia’s acts of war will burden Ukraine with an enormous cost in human suffering, stimulate a massive crackdown on the civil liberties of Russians who respect international law and peace, expand the conflict, and even place the entire world at risk of elevation to a nuclear exchange. President Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons against adversaries in this conflict. Such a threat places the entirety of civilization in jeopardy and is unacceptable.
A war of aggression is not only illegal and immoral, it is also impractical. Every nation today needs to cooperate in addressing many pressing issues such as climate change, eliminating poverty, protecting the health of all species and the oceans, curtailing and eliminating the pandemic, and fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.
We regret that better use was not made of diplomacy, mediation, and common security mechanisms earlier in the conflict to address and resolve historical grievances. We now call the international community to use all non-military means possible, including those outlined in Articles 33–41 of the UN Charter for the peaceful settlement of those disputes. These provisions of the UN Charter provide a route to mitigate, contain, and reverse the dangerous present situation and provide diplomatic tools to obtain peace.
We respect the courage and rights of the people of Ukraine to exercise self-defense, express our solidarity with them, and encourage support for them from all peace-loving nations. Further, we decry the curtailing of civil liberties of Russians who do not agree with the policies of their leaders and honor their courage.
We encourage the utilization of further diplomatic mechanisms available in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in which both the US and Russia are participants. We further urge the UN Security Council and the General Assembly to remain seized of the issue of ending the violence and conflict in Ukraine, and to obtain an immediate ceasefire. Furthermore, the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission should be considered with the consent of all parties involved.
We call on world leaders to demand an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, as requested by the international public opinion, and we urge all parties and individuals in a position of influence to renew efforts for a diplomatic solution, starting with immediate negotiations under UN aegis.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees on March 2, 2022
The World Academy of Art & Science (WAAS) was founded by eminent intellectuals in 1960 as a transnational, transdisciplinary forum dedicated to address the pressing challenges confronting humanity today independent of political boundaries or limits, where problems can be discussed objectively, scientifically, globally, and free from vested interests or regional attachments to arrive at solutions that affirm universal human rights and promote peace and human security of all humanity. WAAS is California 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation. It has been granted special consultative status by UN ECOSOC and consultative status by UNESCO. The Academy is founded on faith in the power of original, creative ideas — Real Ideas with effective power — to change the world.
Our motto: Leadership in thought that leads to action