Ukraine's first lady pleads UN creation of special court on Russian crimes
Ukrainians being slaughtered in towns, villages, houses, hospitals, theaters, Zelenska tells UN panel
NEW YORK (Web Desk) - The first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska pleaded with the United Nations (UN) on Wednesday to create a special court to punish Russia for crimes of aggression in order to guarantee that Moscow's invasion "never again be repeated" anywhere.
The establishment of the tribunal to prosecute individuals responsible for Russia's invasion of the nation a year ago has been advocated for by Ukraine for a number of months. Zelenska said at a special UN hearing on human rights abuses in Ukraine, "I hope you will agree... that regardless of our country or ethnicity, we have the right not to be slain in our own homes."
She told a panel of UN officials via video, "Yet, Ukrainians are being slaughterred in front of the whole world for the whole year in their own towns, villages, houses, hospitals, and theaters." In light of this, she urged the UN to set up a special court to try Russian aggression-related crimes.
In February, the International Criminal Court, which is situated in The Hague, began looking into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine. Nevertheless, despite amendments to the Rome Statute, which governs the ICC, giving it the ability to prosecute aggression as of 2018, it is still unable to do so for non-member nations, of which neither Russia nor Ukraine are.
"For this reason, we urge the UN to set up a special court for the crimes of Russian aggression," she added.
According to diplomats, Ukraine had intended to propose a formal resolution on a tribunal on the anniversary of the invasion on Friday, but the plan has been delayed. The UN General Assembly will instead discuss a resolution on Wednesday that calls for a "just peace" in Ukraine and may receive more support from member nations.
The International Criminal Court, which has its headquarters in The Hague, began looking into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine in February. Although the ICC's Rome Statute, which governs it, was amended in 2018, giving it the authority to punish aggression, non-member states—of which neither Russia nor Ukraine are—are still exempt.