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UN General Assembly resolution against Ukraine invasion
© Carlo Allegri/Reuters/Carlo Allegri

UN Bodies Resolutions on Situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression

Following all the voices condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine also UN Bodies do not remain silent. Even though the Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution on ending the Ukraine Crisis due to the Russian Federation's veto, further actions were taken.

On 2 March 2022, during the 11th emergency special session, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution (ES-11/1) demanding that Russia immediately ends its military operations in Ukraine. UNGA deplored in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine (as well as the Belarusian involvement), demanded the Russian Federation to immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and reaffirmed that no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal. Also, a grave concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine was expressed. UNGA urged the parties to the immediate resolution of the conflict through peaceful means, to allow safe and unfettered passage to destinations outside of Ukraine and to facilitate access to humanitarian assistance for those in need in Ukraine. The resolution was sponsored by more than 90 states. 141 countries voted in favour, 5 against (Russia, Belarus, DPRK, Eritrea and Syria) and 35 abstained. As the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in relation to the vote: “The message of the General Assembly is loud and clear: End hostilities in Ukraine now. Silence the guns now.  Open the door to dialogue and diplomacy now.” The representative of the European Union emphasized also that: “This is not just about Ukraine, this is not just about Europe, this is about defending an international order based on rules. This is about whether we choose tanks and missiles or dialogue and diplomacy.”

Following UNGA, the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted on 4 March 2022 Resolution A/HRC/RES/49/1 on the Situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression. It was adopted with 32 votes for, 2 against (Eritrea and Russian Federation) and  13 abstentions. The Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law resulting from the aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation, called upon the Russian Federation to immediately end the above-mentioned violations and to withdraw the troops from the Ukrainian territory. HRC stressed also that the protection of those fleeing Ukraine should be guaranteed without any discrimination. What is more, an independent international commission of inquiry, comprising three human rights experts, was established to monitor the situation in Ukraine. The Council held a minute of silence for the victims of the Russian aggression.

On 8 March 2022 also UN human rights experts called on the Russian Federation to immediately end the invasion. They reminded that intentional attacks against civilians and civilian objects are considered war crimes and they condemned all attacks targeting civilians. They also expressed their concern about the weapons types reportedly used by the Russian military (i.e. cluster bombs and ammunitions) and declared that all alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law shall be investigated.