Joint Statement of the Group of Friends of Accountability Following the Aggression Against Ukraine delivered by H.E. Ms. Kitlang Kabua Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Marshall Islands (27.02.2023)


Against Ukraine: Human Rights and Humanitarian Impact in Ukraine and Beyond

Joint Statement, delivered by H.E. Ms. Kitlang Kabua
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Marshall Islands
February 27, 2023

Madam Chair, Ministers, Vice-Ministers, Colleagues, 

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the ‘Group of Friends of Accountability following the aggression against Ukraine.’

In recent days, we have marked the somber one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s aggression is a clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and constitutes a blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter, which has been once more clearly condemned by the General Assembly last week. 

In his statement, Foreign Minister Kuleba, reminded us, once again, of the terrible suffering inflicted on the Ukrainian people, who continue to bravely stand their ground and fight for their freedom, dignity, and identity. 

The UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have underlined on different occasion that the war against Ukraine continues to be marked by gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law, for which the perpetrators must be held accountable. 

In this regard, we commend the efforts and initiatives taken to ensure full accountability for the most serious crimes of international concern, including the work of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the establishment of the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression. We also commend the independent monitoring missions of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, and the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine.

Furthermore, discussions on the establishment of an appropriate justice mechanism for the crime of aggression is ongoing.

The Group of Friends will support these and future efforts to bring perpetrators to justice, including for crimes against children such as reported abductions of Ukrainian children to Russia, as well as to restore a sense of justice for the manifold victims of the war. We acknowledge this journey can sometimes be long and costly, but we will be there to sustain the process. No matter how long it takes.

Because when we pursue perpetrators of international crimes, we defend the very rules our international system depends on. And we hopefully deter anyone from committing such violations in the future, whether in Ukraine or elsewhere.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Group of Friends of Accountability Following the Aggression Against Ukraine:
Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland,  Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America