UN Human Rights Council holds urgent debate on Ukraine

Posted by News Express | 4 March 2022 | 396 times

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The UN Human Rights Council held an urgent debate Thursday on the Russian war on Ukraine in which delegates from some countries called for a commission of inquiry to be set up into Russia's “crimes” there.

During the 47-member council’s debate, Turkiye’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva Sadik Arslan said his country “is ready to facilitate any effort in any format in the direction of a peaceful way out of this situation.”

Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova and Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Gennady Gatilov addressed the council after the session was opened by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

“The only reason why this is taking place is because a group of war criminals with access to the nuclear button concluded that our people are too weak to resist and to fight and the world would not care,” said Dzhaparova, who was forced to leave her home in Crimea when Russia illegally annexed the region in 2014.

“They put themselves above international law and above the rules-based order,” she said.

She noted that at the end of the urgent debate, the council would consider a resolution establishing a commission of inquiry into human rights violations and international humanitarian law stemming from Russia's war.

“We believe this initiative will become the next step with concrete, practical implications in continuation of the UN General Assembly.”

Gatilov said: “I would like to ask a question of the representatives of the US and EU countries: What are the international human rights instruments to which you are party, which say that supplying lethal weapons facilitates the saving of human lives?

“And those weapons are regularly coming, and you are seeing on your TV screens how those weapons are being provided to the Kyiv forces.

“The lives of ordinary Ukrainians are of no interest to you. You don’t need a settlement of the situation in Ukraine. The puppet regime of Mr. Zelenskyy is of interest to you only as a means of pressure and is a trump card in your confrontation with Russia,” he added, referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.​​​​​​​

The Russian envoy said the government in Kyiv came to power “as a result of an unconstitutional coup,” which he said “in the best traditions of Nazi Germany” began “actually to destroy the Russian-speaking population of its country.”

Belarus was virtually alone in defending Russia’s position.

Turkiye’s ambassador said “the aggression by Russia against Ukraine is a grave violation of international law and order.”

“We call on Russia to stop military operations, withdraw its forces from Ukraine.”

The US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Sheba Crocker, said now is “a profoundly consequential moment – for Ukraine and the entire world.”

“I want to be perfectly clear: the Russian people are not our enemy.

“We applaud those brave Russians who are risking their personal safety by peacefully protesting their government’s terrible, mistaken war. More than 6,000 have been detained in the last few days alone,” she added.

The resolution could be passed without a vote, but if one country on the council insists, it will go to a vote.

China, Russia and the US are all on the Human Rights Council, but unlike the UN Security Council, none has a veto. (Anadolu Agency)

Source: News Express

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