UN Human Rights Council pauses session to contemplate ‘pressing debate’ on Ukraine disaster

The growth in Geneva echoed the priority of the Security Council, which on Sunday called for an emergency session of the Normal Meeting on the disaster. 

On 25 February 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine, a man calls relatives, standing in front of an apartment building heavily damaged during ongoing military operations.

Addressing the Human Rights Council, Ukraine Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Yevheniia Filipenko, outlined the loss of life and struggling brought about, as talks have been beneath method on the Belorussian border between Ukraine and Russia . 

The Ukraine delegation additionally offered a draft decision, which it requested be thought-about throughout an pressing debate that referred to as for a world probe into any alleged human rights violations stemming from Russia’s navy motion on 24 February. 

“The rationale for this request is understood to the entire world. Russia – a Member of this Council – perpetrated an unprovoked and unjustified assault on Ukraine,” stated Ms. Filipenko, describing it as additionally “an assault on each UN Member State within the United Nations and on the ideas that this group was created to defend.”  

Russian opposition 

Opposing the request, Russian Ambassador Gennady Gatilov expressed disappointment with various delegations’ makes an attempt to “as soon as once more ramp up confrontation within the Council”.  

“The proposal to debate as an pressing debate the subject that has nothing to do with the true issues about human rights in Ukraine,” he maintained. 

For and towards 

After the intervention, Human Rights Council President Federico Villegas referred to as on all 47 members to vote on Ukraine’s request.  

The outcome was 29 votes in favour, 5 towards with 13 abstentions, which means that the Pressing Debate will happen at 3pm on Thursday.  

Highlighting grave issues over the toll on civilians from the “navy assault on Ukraine”, UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet stated that “numerous lives” have been being put in danger.  

Ms. Bachelet explained that between final Thursday morning and Sunday night, 406 civilian casualties had been confirmed – 102 of whom had been killed, “together with seven kids.”  

Most have been killed by “explosive weapons with a large affect space, together with shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket methods, and airstrikes,” she continued, noting that the true loss of life toll is most probably significantly greater. 

Rights are innate 

After speaking out towards Russia’s navy motion, UN Secretary-General António Guterres insisted in his video handle that human rights are “inescapable” in addition to “highly effective.” 

“Folks in every single place know that intuitively. And autocrats, particularly, know that human rights pose the best menace to authority. That’s why they cease at nothing to disclaim, dismiss and distract folks’s consideration, as they trample on primary rights and freedoms,” underscored the UN chief. 

He additionally spoke out on experiences highlighted by the UN human rights workplace, OHCHR, that greater than 1,800 anti-war protesters had been arrested in Russia after the disaster erupted, together with strikes to close Russian civil rights group Memorial. 

“Closing down a celebrated human rights group, with a proud historical past and international hyperlinks, this isn’t the signal of a robust State. It’s the signal of a State that fears the facility of human rights,” upheld the Secretary-Normal. 

No provocation: Swiss President 

Ignazio Cassis, President of the Swiss Confederation, underscored the extent of worldwide concern, describing Russia’s efforts to legitimize its actions as “not credible.”  

“No provocation occurred to justify such an intervention…The navy intervention of the Russian Federation runs opposite to probably the most elementary ideas of the United Nations Constitution, which have been created out of the ruins of two world wars.” 


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