The Woolwich Observer

DYER: A great many people are likely to die in the absence of a ceasefire deal


special political affairs, and I asked him one day why he kept on going. He said: “In the first case, it’s extremely interestin­g. If you want to watch the human tragicomed­y unfold, this is a terrific front-row seat, and every now and then you can do something about it.

“You can stop somebody from being executed, you can prevent somewhere from being destroyed.

It’s a drop in the bucket, can sometimes control a conflict – and the most important thing is to provide a place where the nuclear powers can get out of their confrontat­ions ....

“As Hammarskjö­ld once said, while none of us are ever going to see the world order we dream of in our lifetime, neverthele­ss, the effort to build that order is the difference between anarchy and a tolerable degree of chaos.”

Urquhart died last year at 102, but if I could ask him whether Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky should have agreed to ceasefire talks with Russia, I’m sure he would say yes. Not because

Zelensky should bargain his country’s freedom away, but because a great many people are going to die in the next few days if there is no ceasefire.

It’s always worth going the extra mile.

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