HRC Special Session 34 – Ukraine

12 May 2022

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Thank you.

We continue to strongly condemn Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. We’ve been appalled by the reports of our Ukrainian colleagues and images of atrocities in Ukraine, including crimes committed in Bucha, Irpin and many other towns and villages across the country, and of the apocalyptic scenes in Mariupol, a city previously home to half a million people, that no longer exists.

Our Ukrainian civil society partners are actively documenting evidence in relation to atrocities in Ukraine, including executions.

They have also documented enforced disappearances, forcible transfers of large numbers of civilians from Ukraine to Russia, including through Belarus, widespread use of torture, sexual and gender-based violence and the targeting and killing of civilians, including journalists, who themselves were investigating and documenting evidence of war crimes.

We, and our civil society partners, have already extended our support to the Commission of Inquiry and will address opportunities for further cooperation.

It is essential that every assistance is given to the Commission by all other stakeholders to ensure it can fully carry out its independent work and fulfill the strong mandate it was given in resolution 49/1.

Finally, human rights defenders and journalists investigating crimes and human rights violations in Ukraine have never been in a more precarious situation, and the United Nations should do its utmost to ensure their safety alongside other particularly vulnerable groups.

Thank you.