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Human Rights Council votes to increase scrutiny on “deteriorating human rights” in Ukraine

GENEVA, MAY 12 – Today the international community took one more significant step towards accountability for the atrocities committed in Ukraine: the Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva,  voted to increase scrutiny on the “deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression”.

The resolution was adopted with 33 votes in favor, 2 against and 12 abstentions. The document made a particular notice of the recent events in Mariupol and several other towns and cities. China and Eritrea were the two countries voting “no”. The Russian Federation was recently suspended from the Council by a large majority of the General Assembly. Russia, however, withdrew from the Council before the vote so that it could keep follow the proceedings through the status of observer.

The Council met in special session prompted by increasing concern over atrocities committed against civilians, linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. Amid a mounting number of reports and testimonies pointing to possible war crimes in Ukraine particularly in areas controlled until recently by Russian forces, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that the pattern of abuses continued to be caused “by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas, such as shelling from heavy artillery, including multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes”.

Highlighting the latest harrowing findings of UN investigators in the Kyiv and Cherniviv regions, Ms. Bachelet told the forum that 1,000 civilian bodies had been found in the Kyiv region alone. Some had been killed in hostilities, but others appeared to have been summarily executed. The special session – the Council’s 34th since it began work in 2006 – also featured an early update from the top rights probe into abuses in Ukraine that was set up in March, at the request of a majority of the forum’s Member States.

“While not a strictly judicial instance, one of the Commission’s tasks is to identify, where possible, individuals and entities responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or of international humanitarian law, or other related crimes,” said Erik Mose, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine.

Addressing the Council ahead of the vote, the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Gian Lorenzo Cornado, expressed Italy’s “deep concern for the further deterioration of the human rights situation in Ukraine, the increasing number of civilian casualties and the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe caused by the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression by the Russian Federation against a sovereign country”. Ambassador Cornado recalled “the horrific developments and the unbearable human suffering recently documented by the OHCHR and other international organizations” throughout Ukraine and stressed that “the continued large-scale targeting of civilian infrastructures, including medical and education facilities, is unacceptable “. (@OnuItalia)

OnuItalia
OnuItaliahttps://onuitalia.com
Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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