Cork joined cities across the EU and beyond in a walk-out protest against the Russian Federation at a UN Forum of Mayors in Geneva.
The walk-out was triggered by the Russian Federation’s response to a contribution by the Mayor of Kharkiv Igor Terekhov, who had outlined how ambitious plans and projects for his city had been obliterated by bombing.
Deputy Lord Mayor Mick Finn joined in the walkout but later elaborated on Cork’s humanitarian response to the war. He also signed a declaration by the mayors present on support for Ukraine and an end to the conflict.
“While the Forum’s main focus was on Sustainable Development Goals and how cities are recovering from Covid restrictions in terms of transport, housing and recreational developments, Ukraine dominated the contributions,” he said.
“I took the opportunity to inform the cities how Cork and Ireland are responding by opening their hearts, homes and pockets in a community-wide response to Ukranians and how people and humanity step up when politics and diplomacy fail.”
Cllr Finn mentioned the aid convoys to the war-torn area by individuals and organisations from Cork, all the fundraising concerts including the Solidarity Concert in City Hall and the ongoing support efforts throughout the city and county.
“The input of the Kharkiv Mayor really brought home the trauma of the war, showing before and after photographs of homes and parks that were reduced to ruins and craters. It was shocking and underlined the reasons for the walkout during the reply from Russia who contested the images presented and claiming it was not the aggressor. The only support for Russia came from their own delegates."