February 25, 2022
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“Residents and local government leaders across North America woke up to the drumbeats of war playing out in cities and communities in the homeland of our colleagues and fellow citizens across Ukraine. In our respective roles in both UCLG and in UCLG North American Section (NORAM), we stand with our local government colleagues in Ukraine and around the world in strongly condemning the launch of military attacks by Russia on cities and regions throughout Ukraine.

“Canada has deep-rooted ties with Ukraine, both from a human and an economic perspective.  As mayors of Canadian cities and communities, we know that the Ukrainian diaspora is the fifth largest ethnic group in Canada, representing hundreds of thousands of Canadians who were born either in Ukraine or Canada. Today’s news is particularly difficult for them, and for all our citizens who have lived through the tragedy of military activity and its aftermath worldwide.

“The launch of military actions in the sovereign territory of Ukraine by Russia, comes as cities and the regions across our global municipal family continue to fight against the devastating impacts of Covid-19. The well-being and safety of citizens within this global family cannot further be impacted by military actions which threaten our collective global security and economic well-being.

“As Canadian local government leaders in UCLG NORAM and as part of the Federation of the Canadian Municipalities, we know that local governments play a vital role as promoters of peace, prosperity and democracy for our citizens.  UCLG NORAM joins the call of Canadian and other governments for all military actions against Ukraine by Russia to immediately stop, for troops to be called back from Ukrainian territory, and diplomatic solutions to find the way toward peace.

“As members of UCLG, the broadest representation of city and local government diplomacy in the world, we commit to ensuring that local governments, through all available governance mechanisms, will continue to work together towards global peace based on existing agreements. We call for the respect of all international agreements but above all for the respect of human existence and the protection of innocent lives.

“On behalf of the citizens in Canada who we represent within our global and North American UCLG networks, we speak with one united voice when we say that nothing can justify the targeting of cities and communities, and the loss of innocent civilian lives.  We stand united with all Canadians of Ukrainian background during this difficult time in our shared call for Peace for Ukraine.”

Joanne Vanderheyden
UCLG North America President
FCM President
Mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc

Berry Vrbanovic
UCLG Treasurer & Member of UCLG Presidency
Mayor of Kitchener
FCM President Emeritus (2011-12)

For more information contact FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, media@fcm.ca

About United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

UCLG is the world organization of local and regional governments and their associations, representing and defending their interests on the world stage. UCLG’s membership serves 70% of the world’s population and is present in all world regions. UCLG’s key areas of political interest are: local democracy, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, local finance, urban development and city diplomacy in peace building.

About United Cities and Local Governments North America (UCLG NORAM)

UCLG NORAM is the North American section of UCLG representing member local and regional governments and their associations from Canada, the United States and the English speaking Caribbean countries.  Currently, the secretariat of the North American association is being hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, based in Ottawa, Canada.

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