Joint Statement by the Group of Friends of Accountability Following the Aggression Against Ukraine
The United States Joined the Following Joint Statement at the 51st Session of the Human Rights Council
Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Erik Brøgger Rasmussen,
Permanent Representative of Denmark
I am delivering this statement on behalf of the 46 member states of the Group of Friends of Accountability Following the Aggression against Ukraine.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s illegal sham “referenda” in Ukraine and the announced illegal, attempted annexation of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. We urge the international community to condemn the attempted annexation and to join us in support of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. We reaffirm that any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the UN Charter and international law and without legal effect under international law.
We are equally devastated by the discoveries of mass graves in the formerly Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine, recently in Izyum, and the increasing number of civilian casualties across the country. We remain deeply alarmed about the continuing and widespread reports of human rights abuses and violations and violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine, including those stemming from Russia’s reported filtration policy.
This filtration policy is designed to intimidate and harass local populations, identify individuals whom Russia deems insufficiently compliant or opposed to its aggression and temporary control, suppress Ukrainian identity, and lay the groundwork for the continued “Russification” and attempted, illegal annexation of parts of a sovereign Ukraine.
The filtration operations are reported to include practices of torture of civilians and military forces, as well as the separation of families, including forced adoption of Ukrainian children, confiscation of Ukrainian passports, issuance of Russian passports, and surveillance.
Evidence is mounting that Russian authorities are also reportedly detaining or making disappear thousands of Ukrainian civilians during the filtration processes, with reports that some civilians have been summarily executed.
We call on Russia to immediately halt its pervasive filtration operations, arbitrary detentions, and forced deportations and disappearances and to promptly release those arbitrarily detained, and allow all citizens, particularly children to promptly and safely return home.
We recall obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law prohibiting torture and inhuman treatment of detainees and strongly condemn all reported cases of torture and ill-treatment.
We furthermore express deep concern about the grave effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine on global food and energy security, which particularly affects developing countries and persons in vulnerable situations.
We reaffirm our full solidarity with Ukraine and its courageous people in their defence of their country and of the UN Charter. And we express our unwavering commitment to the independence, sovereignty and respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
29. Marshall Islands
32. New Zealand
33. North Macedonia
37. Republic of Korea
45. United Kingdom
46. United States