Statement at Closing Session of Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting

Delivered by Counsellor Marit Halsvik Lillealtern, Vienna, 29 March 2022.

On behalf of the Norwegian delegation, I would like to thank the CIO and ODIHR for organizing this meeting on extremely important issues. I would also like to thank the civil society representatives for making the effort to come to Vienna to share your experiences, and recommendations. Your testimonies have made lasting impressions and your messages will be taken back to our capital.

We have already, and will in the time to come, seen the mounting consequences of the unprovoked Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The indiscriminate shelling and bombing of civilian areas and strikes on civilian infrastructure like hospitals and schools, may all qualify as war crimes. There are reports of gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights that may amount to crimes against humanity. Mass displacement and destruction of civilian housing has placed large groups of people in particularly vulnerable situations, disproportionately affecting women and children.

Ensuring accountability is an integral part of our obligation to respect and ensure compliance with international humanitarian law. It is important that the ongoing violations of human rights and humanitarian law are well documented.

Let me conclude by reiterating Norway’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people.

Thank you