On Invocation of Moscow Mechanism to address the human rights and humanitarian impacts of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine
As delivered by Political Counselor Elisabeth Rosenstock-Siller
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
March 3, 2022
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The U.S. fully aligns with the joint statement delivered by my Canadian counterpart. I would like to add the following in my national capacity.
The United States joined 44 other countries today in invoking the Moscow Mechanism, requesting that Ukraine invite an expert mission to address grave concerns about the human rights and humanitarian impacts of Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine. We have all seen troubling media reporting on possible human rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law by Russia’s invading forces. These reports come against a horrific backdrop of mounting civilian casualties and extensive damage to civilian infrastructure.
The expert mission is asked to impartially document and establish the facts regarding possible contraventions of OSCE commitments and violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by Russia’s forces.
Facts matter. That has been the motto of the SMM. And OSCE commitments matter. And international law obligations matter. No amount of lies can make facts disappear or hide the bloody results of Russia’s aggression.
The expert mission will prepare a report documenting its findings to be shared with all OSCE participating States. The mission will also prepare its report with a view to providing it to relevant accountability mechanisms, including national, regional, and international courts and tribunals.
The government of Russia and its forces will be held accountable for any and all human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, and war crimes they commit in Ukraine.
I request that this statement be attached to the journal of the day.