Ahead of Human Rights Day (10 December), the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, and the Committee of Ministers Chair, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, have issued a joint statement calling for a collective response to grave violations of human rights and crimes committed in the context of Russia’s persisting aggression against Ukraine.
“We strongly condemn the ongoing dreadful violations of human rights committed by Russia, some of the worst since World War II. We call on the entire international community to take common and decisive action to ensure accountability for all crimes committed in Ukraine in the context of Russia’s aggression.
“Europe has the strongest system of international human rights protection anywhere in the world, thanks to the European Convention on Human Rights, which continues to apply to violations perpetrated by Russia before 16 September 2022. The Council of Europe already provides training and expertise to Ukraine on the Convention requirements for effective investigations into crimes against humanity in times of war.
“In the preparations for the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government, to take place in Reykjavík on 16 and 17 May 2023, the Organisation’s possible contribution to ensuring accountability for grave human rights violations committed in the framework of brutal Russian aggression against Ukraine, will figure prominently on the agenda.
“The Summit aims to renew member states’ commitment to “the Conscience of Europe” at the highest political level and to the leading role of the Council of Europe as the continent’s guardian of human rights”.