Item 10 - Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s oral report on Ukraine. NB8 Estonia. (31.03.2023)

52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 10 - Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s oral report on Ukraine

Statement by Estonia on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries delivered by H.E. Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi

31 March 2023

Thank you, Mr President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Estonia.

We thank the High Commissioner for the update and the continuous OHCHR’s work on the ground.

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has resulted in widespread terror and intolerable suffering with far-reaching consequences. We have witnessed images and reports of both indiscriminate and targeted attacks against civilians and civilian and critical energy infrastructure, as well as sexual and gender-based violence.

Ukrainian children are paying a particularly high price for this brutal and unjustified war. More than 400 children have been killed, hundreds more injured and over 7 million Ukrainian children are left without peaceful and happy childhood, having lost family members, homes, schools or playgrounds. Moreover, numerous children have been systematically put through filtration camps and forcibly transferred within Ukraine and deported to Russia, many of them separated from parents and illegally adopted. As the Commission of Inquiry clearly stated – these forced transfers and deportations amount to war crimes.

We once again reiterate that we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes and do everything we can to hold Russia fully accountable for war crimes and other grave violations of international law. The ICC’s decision to issue arrests warrants against Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova is an important step towards accountability.

High Commissioner, how can we best support the fight against impunity?

I thank you!