On March 25th, IPI broadcasted the launch meeting of the Group of Friends of Accountability, following the aggression against Ukraine.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the UN General Assembly has denounced the act as a blatant violation of the principles of the UN Charter. The International Court of Justice has ruled that Russia must immediately suspend its military invasion. Meanwhile, Russia is continuing its war on Ukraine with disregard to the Geneva Conventions, killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure. In response, the international community is activating a number of mechanisms to hold the perpetrators of war crimes and gross human rights violations and abuses to account. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened an investigation following a referral from 41 states. A Commission of Inquiry (CoI) has been established by the UN Human Rights Council with a mandate to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and related crimes, in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine. An international investigation mission under the OSCE has been established to collect evidence of Russian human rights violations and war crimes. Other international, regional and national initiatives, including from civil society organizations, have been taken and are in the making.
The Group of Friends (GoF) of Accountability following the aggression against Ukraine is co-founded by Albania, Colombia, Denmark, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. It is chaired by a cross-regional group and will be set up in New York and Geneva.
The GoF will serve as an informal forum for states dedicated to ensuring accountability for international crimes committed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine with the aim of:
- Information sharing among states and relevant international organizations, institutions, and civil society in order to optimize the process of accountability and the delivery of justice.
- Including and engaging smaller states, whose capacity to follow the development of accountability measures may not match the importance they attach to the respect for the rule-based international order.
Dr. Adam Lupel, IPI Vice President
H.E. Mr. Jeppe Kofod, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
H.E. Ms. Olta Xhaçka, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania
H.E. Ms. Marta Lucía Ramírez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
H.E. Mr. Casten Nemra, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
H.E. Mr. Wopke Hoekstra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya, Permanent Representative of Ukraine
Mr. Karim A. A. Khan, ICC Prosecutor
H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Mr. Brian Castner, Senior Crisis Advisor, Amnesty International
Mr. Nick Waters, Senior Investigator, Bellingcat
H.E. Mr. Ivan Šimonovic, Permanent Representative of Croatia
H.E. Ms. Marie-Louise Koch Wegter, Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark