Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Oral Update on Ukraine
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Human Rights Council – 53rd Session
October 9th, 2023
Thank you, Mr. President.
And thank you, Madam Deputy High Commissioner, for your sobering update.
The work of the High Commissioner’s office is essential to exposing the horrific human rights abuses and war crimes being committed in Ukraine.
Nearly a decade after Russia first invaded Ukraine, the people of Ukraine continue to suffer unconscionable abuses at the hands of Russia’s forces, including torture, sexual violence, enforced disappearances, unjust detentions, and forced transfer and deportation.
Month after month, Russia’s relentless attacks continue to kill and injure civilians. In July, a Russian bomb struck a school in the town of Orikhiv that was being used as an aid distribution point, killing seven and wounding eleven. In August, missile strikes in Donetsk destroyed a hotel and apartment block, killing nine. In September, seventeen were killed in a missile strike on the Donetsk town of Konstantinova. And just last Thursday, we have already seen dozens killed in a missile strike in Hroza.
We are also continuing to learn the scope of abuses committed against Ukraine’s children.
In one chilling example, last October in Kherson, Russian soldiers came to an orphanage with busses, saying “these are our children.” Those stolen children are now among the thousands who have gone missing from Ukraine.
Madam Deputy High Commissioner, what further steps can this Council take to help hold Russia to account for these atrocities?
I thank you.