UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - 49TH SESSION

Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Item 10  - Interactive Dialogue with High Commissioner on Ukraine

Delivered by H.E. Paul Bekkers, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU. Day after day, Ukrainian neighborhoods, schools and hospitals are hit by Russian bombs and shells. Day after day, the violence continues and the humanitarian situation worsens. This war not only affects Ukraine and Europe. It’s a threat to the international legal order.

This illegal and unprovoked war against Ukraine has been globally condemned. It is clear to us that the Russian Federation bears responsibility for the suffering of the Ukrainian people. We cannot allow the crimes committed to go unpunished. Because impunity destroys the foundations on which our rights rest.

Therefore, we strongly support the mandate of the UN Commission of Inquiry aimed at gathering and preserving evidence. And the decisive steps taken by the ICC Prosecutor aimed at bringing perpetrators before the Court. The fight against impunity also relies on the tireless efforts of NGOs, journalists and – perhaps most important –victims and survivors. Also the role of OHCHR in monitoring and reporting is indispensable.

Coordination and cooperation to ensure accountability is crucial. We are committed to contribute to this goal as co-chair of the Group of Friends of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine.

Madam High Commissioner,

Journalists and media workers, individual investigators, human rights defenders are facing immense risks to keep their country – and the world – informed. How can we best support them? 

Thank you.