34th Special session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression

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

Mr. President,

These are difficult, disturbing, and frustrating times. Many of us know people in Russia – even call them friends. All they want is to be a good parent, provide for their family, enjoy friendship, have a job. Like ourselves. Like my friends in the Netherlands. Or anywhere else. People everywhere basically are the same.

The difference however is that they are part of a system that shows complete disregard for human life and dignity – as we again heard today.

They are part of a system that allows its armed forces to commit atrocities and war crimes – as we again heard today.

They are part of a system whose President endorses, allows or encourages sexual and gender based violence as a method of warfare – as we again heard today. 

They are part of a system that endorses or encourages violence without any military objective, which is aimed at the destruction of people’s souls, which is violence against humanity itself, as is the war in Ukraine a serious threat to international peace and security.

It is crucial that these acts of violence are addressed and adequately investigated.

Mr. President,

The Netherlands remain gravely concerned by the devastating effects of this war on food, energy, and finance systems, which are likely to have the most impact on least developed and lower and middle-income countries.

In Ukraine, the destructive power of the Russian invasion is being countered by the power of courageous people. The victims and survivors deserve truth, justice and accountability. It is for this reason the Netherlands remains strongly committed to the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry, the special inquiry into the events in the areas of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions and the ICC investigation.

I thank you.

Special session Human Rights Council deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine
Image: ©PV Geneva