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UNHRC September 25 Recap

UNHRC September 25 Recap

Photo Source: GHRD Staff.

Topic: United Nations
Region: World 

Denisa Cepoiu
Team UN Geneva Researchers,
Global Human Rights Defence.

On the 25th of September 2023, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine renewed its commitment to the ongoing investigation into human rights abuses committed by Russia in their war of aggression against Ukraine. The Commission expressed their deep concerns about the crimes committed by the Russian armed forces and called for the Russian Federation to take accountability for their actions. Andriy Kostin, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, has commended the work of the Commission and its important role in  returning justice and peace to the Ukrainian territory.


The focus of this Commission’s Interactive Dialogue was the illegal deportation of 9000 Ukrainian children and the inhumane treatment they underwent in Russia, mainly sexual torture and having their identity stripped away. Several states expressed their support for the integrity and independence of Ukraine and their encouragement for the Commission’s work. There were some adversaries to the Commission as well, who opposed the politicisation of human rights issues and asked for an open and calm dialogue, not a one-sided accusation and “demonisation” of Russia.


Later in the day, the Independent Fact-finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela shared its concerning report on severe human rights violations in Venezuela. The Mission had investigated 5 out of 9 deaths of political prisoners, which they concluded to be arbitrary killings pursued by the State. This Mission was hotly contested by several countries, including Venezuela itself, Russia, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Belarus, and others, who all invoked the UN Charter principle of non-intervention and condemned the “criminal unilateral chorus of accusations” (as spoken by the representative of Cuba). Some NGOs have also raised the issue of this Mission being carried out remotely, relying on testimonies from Bolivian citizens, which doesn’t give a full account of the human rights situation in Venezuela, and thus has no real impact on it.

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