JST of the GoF AAU – Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner on Ukraine at 53rd Session of UN Human Rights Council
Delivered by Netherland on behalf of the Group of Friends
12 July 2023 – Geneva, Switzerland
Mr. President, Mr High Commissioner,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the 'Group of Friends of Accountability following the aggression against Ukraine'.
763 men, 94 women, and 7 boys unlawfully detained, 72 men and 5 women summarily executed
These numbers, presented in your reports, paint a clear picture of the serious violations of international humanitarian law and egregious human rights violations and abuses perpetrated since the launch of Russia’s full-scale, unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. They depict the blatant disregard of the Russian authorities for their obligations under international law. But they only form the tip of the iceberg of human suffering as the OHCHR has recorded 25,170 civilian casualties since 24th February 2022.
Behind these numbers, there are individuals, their families and loved ones who suffer. This we must never forget. Especially not here, at this Council, which seeks to uphold the inherent dignity of every person.
Human dignity that has been denied time and time again by Russia. As shown by your report more than 91 per cent of civilian detainees held by Russia have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including through sexual violence.
These alarming findings from your report reinforce the need to ensure accountability for the serious crimes under international law committed on the territory of Ukraine, and ensure justice for all victims and the prevention of future crimes.
We, therefore, welcome the reporting of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, work by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, the investigation into the Ukraine situation by the International Criminal Court, the operationalization of the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine, the establishment of the Council of Europe’s Register of Damage, and the work of the Core Group towards a tribunal on the crime of aggression against Ukraine. We call for work to continue on the path towards full accountability.
Thank you, Mr. President.
List of members of the Group of Friends of Accountability for the Aggression against Ukraine.
- Czech Republic
- Republic of the Marshall Islands
- Kingdom of the Netherlands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Republic of Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
- EU Delegation
 These figures are based on paragraph 35 of the OHCHR report ‘Detention of civilians in the context of the armed attack by the Russian Federation against Ukraine’