Human Rights Council – Special Session to Address the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Ukraine Stemming from Russian Aggression
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Thank you Mr. President, and to the High Commissioner and Mr. Møse.
As Russia realizes its military cannot defeat the indomitable spirit of the people of Ukraine, its frustrations have led to ever-more-egregious human rights abuses.
We see this in the ruthless destruction of Mariupol, in the aftermath of Russia’s retreat from the areas around Kyiv, and in the reports of torture, gender-based violence, and execution of civilians, particularly in the areas Russia temporarily holds. Older persons and persons with disabilities have been reported to be especially vulnerable.
Faced with Putin’s utter disregard for human rights and human life, the international community must continue to use every appropriate tool to make clear that Russia must immediately cease its war of aggression, withdraw its troops from Ukraine, and abide by the UN Charter.
Today’s special session is instrumental to communicating this message. And it shows us that, more than a profoundly consequential moment, worldwide efforts to oppose Russia’s war and stand up for human rights, sovereignty, and territorial integrity have become a profoundly consequential movement.
For our part, the United States imposed on May 8 visa restrictions on over 2,600 Russian military and other officials reportedly involved in actions that threaten or violate Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence. Included among this group are personnel who reportedly took part in Russian military activities in Bucha.
Working together, we must send a resounding message to those involved in this brutal war of choice and ensure accountability.
The United States supports all international efforts to examine atrocities in Ukraine, including those conducted by the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and others.
What’s more, the Commission of Inquiry created by this Council will help ensure that Russia does not get away with its continued attempts to hide atrocities. I thank you.