Ukraine Commission of Inquiry Demonstrate Unity Against Impunity

People ♦ Published: September 16, 2022; 10:34 ♦ (Vindobona)

The United Nations Human Rights Council established an Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine in March. Schallenberg recently welcomed those members.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg received members of the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine at the Foreign Ministry. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The United Nations Human Rights Council established an Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine in March this year.

The aim of the specially appointed commission is to document violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in connection with the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, to gather evidence for future legal proceedings and to identify those responsible.

The team of the Commission of Inquiry was recently received by Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. "There simply must not be impunity here. We need clarification. Those people who are responsible for this - the political and military leaders - must be held accountable. This is a task for the world community, for the United Nations," emphasised Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, referring to the inhumane atrocities committed by the Russian aggressor - especially in Butcha, Irpin and Vinnytsia.

"Targeted attacks against civilians, on urban areas and medical facilities, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, sexual violence and the use of cluster munitions are massive violations of international humanitarian law. These war crimes must be punished. The Russian Federation must be aware that the entire responsibility for this rests on its shoulders", continued the Foreign Minister.

Good contacts with the respective national authorities as well as with the International Criminal Court are important to the Ukraine Commission of Inquiry. By the beginning of September 2022, a total of almost 14,000 civilian victims, including more than 5,700 fatalities, could be verified.

However, a significantly higher number of unreported cases can be assumed. This September, the Commission of Inquiry will present a first oral report at the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council; a final written report is to follow in spring 2023.

OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

BMEIA Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs