Skip to Main Content
Important Notice: As of 1 November 2023, Ms. Heba Hagrass (Egypt) has been appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the current Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.
an elderly man in a wheelchair in what appears to be a desolate, outdoor setting with debris and fallen structures around him. He is dressed warmly in a winter jacket and a hat, looking downwards, which may suggest a somber or reflective mood. The background indicates a possibly damaged or neglected area, adding to the overall sense of hardship or struggle.

UN experts urge international community to step up efforts to forge peace between Russia and Ukraine


GENEVA (23 February 2024)  UN experts* today called for greater efforts by the international community to end Russia’s war against Ukraine in line with the UN Charter and find a path of peace without delay. They issued the following statement to mark two years since the Russian full-scale invasion:

“The lives of millions of civilians continue to be at stake. They are children, women and men who must always be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity. For them, peace is neither an empty word nor an abstract concept. It is the essential precondition for restoring normality to everyday life.

There is no normality when people are killed, tortured, forcibly disappeared, sexually assaulted, displaced, deported, arbitrarily detained, or exposed to toxic or radiological substances. There is no normality when people are in fear of constant shelling and when air raid sirens sound every day, day and night, forcing people to escape to shelters. Life is disrupted when people cannot live in their homes, use hospitals, schools and roads, or enjoy cultural heritage, because these places are under attack or destroyed. Survival is at stake when farmers are not able to work their lands because they are contaminated by landmines and explosives.

War is savagery and brutality, everywhere and in all circumstances. It affects everyone, and especially those with fragilities and vulnerabilities, such as the young and older persons.

As time passes without any prospect of peace, the trauma of war entrenches and will lead to even more suffering and devastation.

We want peace to be established without delay. War and aggression violate the basic principles of coexistence between peoples and nations, human rights and the UN Charter.

We stand ready to support all efforts of the international community aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine consistent with the principles of the UN Charter and ensuring the protection of human rights for all. Rehabilitation, recovery and redress for victims and survivors must be provided, and the rights of minorities respected.

All perpetrators, including those exercising superior authority, must be held accountable for war crimes and other atrocities which are alleged to have been committed on a large-scale. The missing and disappeared must be found, prisoners of war and others arbitrarily deprived of liberty released, and the forcibly deported, including Ukrainian children, returned home. These are necessary for peace, reconciliation and justice.

To date, Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine has caused over 10,000 civilian deaths, an estimated 20,000 civilian injuries and an undisclosed number of combatant casualties. Some 18 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance – almost 40 percent of Ukraine’s population. This includes over three million people living in frontline communities who face severe shortages of resources and constant bombardment. While millions of people remain internally displaced in Ukraine, some 6 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have sought refuge abroad, which was one of the fastest and largest refugee exoduses in history and they currently make up the third largest refugee population in the world.

The impact of this war continues to be felt beyond Ukraine’s borders, as businesses and supply chains have been disrupted and prices of food, energy, fertiliser and other essential commodities have soared around the world, fuelling a severe global cost of living crisis.”

Alice Jill EdwardsSpecial Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Heba HagrassSpecial Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Morris Tidball-Binz, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executionsTomoya ObokataSpecial Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequencesMichael FakhriSpecial Rapporteur on the right to foodNicolas Levrat, Special Rapporteur on minority issuesCecilia M. Bailliet, Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarityFarida ShaheedSpecial Rapporteur on the right to educationAlexandra XanthakiSpecial Rapporteur in the field of cultural rightsDavid R. Boyd, Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environmentLivingstone Sewanyana, Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; Marcos A. OrellanaSpecial Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastesBen Saul, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorismClaudia MahlerIndependent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older personsPaula Gaviria Betancur, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced personsMargaret SatterthwaiteSpecial Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and LawyersDorothy Estrada Tanck (Chair), Claudia Flores, Ivana Krstić, Haina Lu, and Laura Nyirinkindi, Working group on discrimination against women and girls; Robert McCorquodale (Chair-Rapporteur), Fernanda Hopenhaym (Vice-Chair), Pichamon Yeophantong, Damilola Olawuyi, Elzbieta Karska, Working Group on business and human rightsFabián SalvioliSpecial Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrenceReem Alsalem, Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequencesPedro Arrojo-AgudoSpecial Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitationAua Baldé (Chair-Rapporteur), Gabriella Citroni (Vice-Chair), Angkhana Neelapaijit, Grażyna Baranowska, Ana Lorena Delgadillo PerezWorking Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances; Ashwini K.P., Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intoleranceBarbara G. Reynolds (Chair), Dominique Day, Catherine Namakula, Miriam Ekiudoko, Bina D’CostaWorking Group of Experts on People of African DescentMs. Priya Gopalan (Chair-Rapporteur), Mr. Matthew Gillett (Vice-Chair on Communications), Ms. Ganna Yudkivska (Vice-Chair on Follow-Up), and Mr. Mumba Malila, Working Group on arbitrary detentionSiobhán MullallySpecial Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

Article source