It is with great shock that we follow the developments in Ukraine. In these dark days for the whole of Europe, our thoughts first and foremost are for Ukrainian people, their well-being, safety, and their national sovereignty. We assure them that the European colleagues in the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES), both members and executives are fully aware of the danger this war represents to the whole country and the surgical community are facing. We would like to confirm that it is our duty to support our Ukrainian colleagues with solidarity and to offer our help all Ukrainian citizens.
As a society, our mission has been to support innovation, technology, research, and education, but as a European patient-centred society, we stand up for human rights, democracy and freedom and call on all stakeholders to do the same. The EAES, as the leading society in Europe in surgery must stand by those principles and offer support to who need us. In this sense, we have recently started a series of meetings with all the different leaders of the national societies of endoscopic surgery to discuss proposal that we can support our colleagues and the surgical community in Ukraine.
We recognise that as we are physicians, scientists and health care professionals, not politicians or diplomats, but the current situation impacts all of us as citizens of Europe and members of the EAES family as well as the function of our society. During the last meeting, we were able to observe the growing concern of the president of the Ukrainian Society of Endoscopy Surgery about the situation, a concern about what could happen in his country, which at the end turned to occur, a real humanitarian disaster. In these difficult times, our thoughts also go to the Ukrainian patients in the war fields as well as those with surgical conditions and facing a new additional barrier, accessing treatment in a war situation. Our thoughts finally go to the EAES members and colleagues in Ukraine, offering what help we can in this situation, and to all the people of Ukraine affected by the war and fighting for freedom.
As the EAES, we are making ourselves available to help and support the Ukrainian people and our society open to listening to proposals to collaborate in whatever way possible and will start some concrete action to support this country.