Foreign Minister Baerbock at the Security Council: “We must not stand idly by”
At a UN Security Council high-level debate on Russian war crimes in Ukraine and prosecuting these crimes, Foreign Minister Baerbock called on Russian President Putin to end the war of aggression against Ukraine:
Bucha, Mariupol, Izyum. When we talk about the horrors of the unfolding war in Ukraine, we are not talking about abstract reports. We are talking about children. We are talking about mothers. About brothers, about fathers, about grandparents, women and men whose pain is raw. Therefore, I urge Russia: This is a war you will not win. So end the war!“
Understandably, for many countries in the Security Council and the UN General Assembly, Russia’s war of aggression seems like a faraway regional war, particularly because many parts of the world already face severe problems, including violent conflicts, the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and hunger. However, the Charter of the United Nations clearly states that ”all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state“. This was one reason why Foreign Minister Baerbock underlined the following:
If the charter means anything to us, we must not stand idly by. Because we are the United Nations, from north to south, from east to west, no matter how small. No matter how big.
There can be no impunity for Russian violations and breaches of international law in Ukraine
After the UN Security Council debate, Foreign Minister Baerbock met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and other counterparts to discuss how the international community can ensure that there be no impunity for torture, rape and systematic murder by Russian soldiers. Amal Clooney and other experts on international criminal law shared their expertise on how the terrible human rights violations can be prosecuted at the international level and how international support for this process can best be organised. The meeting followed on from the Ukraine Accountability Conference in The Hague on 14 July.