Human Rights Council – 49th session, 3. March 2022
Urgent Debate on the Situation of Human Rights in Ukraine
stemming from the Russian Aggression
Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland,
H.E. Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir
As we meet here today, a brutal war is being fought in Ukraine.
Russia has chosen a path of war and destruction: to invade Ukraine and create a serious threat to European and global security. It has enlisted Belarussian authorities, a regime that has shown utter disregard for the human rights of its own people, as its enabler.
This war is waged to turn back the clock, to stop the advance of tolerance, understanding, peace - to take back the human rights that we have worked so hard for, and this Council is tasked with promoting and protecting.
The human suffering will be severe – in fact, it already is. Civilians are being killed and injured. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have arrived in neighbouring countries. With humanitarian needs mounting, humanitarian access must be secured, and international humanitarian law respected.
Russia bears full responsibility for this military aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it will cause. We stand in full unity with Ukraine and call on Russia to stop this senseless war and to immediately withdraw all its forces from Ukraine without precondition.