As I write this in the peaceful city of Dublin on the far western edge of Europe, at the other end of the continent we’re witnessing the shocking invasion of Ukraine.

I’m here, but my thoughts are with the Ukrainian people. My hope is that the war ends soon and that there is a just and peaceful end to this.

We oppose the Russian invasion, and believe in freedom of choice and the right to self-determination. But among my many emotions, I’m mainly fearful for the safety of my fellow members and future members in Ukraine. Their resilience is astonishing and awe-inspiring, and my thoughts are with them today. The same goes for our staff team in the country, who have been continuing to work when they can as their cities and homes come under bombardment.

I also think of our members, students and staff in other countries affected by this military conflict, in Russia and across Central and Eastern Europe.

As a global professional body for accountants, over our 117-year history we have operated in many difficult and uncertain circumstances.

This means we will endeavour to provide support for all our members and students, wherever they are, through this crisis. 

However, the current situation presents complex ethical and logistical challenges. We cancelled our exams in Russia last week and are urgently reviewing our approach in other areas of our operations.

Our aim remains the same at this sad and challenging time - to provide opportunity to people of ability and to develop the world’s accountancy profession, irrespective of location, and to work for the public good.

So we stand side by side with our members and future members in these difficult times, wherever they are. And we work with others to support and nurture the profession around the world, enabling all to make a positive contribution to the profession, the economy and, above all, society.

I am sure you will all join me in adding our voices to the urgent calls for peace which are coming from all around the world – and yearning for an end to this.

Note: This version contains some updates to the original version published on 9 March, reflecting the fast-moving situation.

See ACCA statement about Ukraine