Speech by Minister Hanke Bruins Slot at the UN Security Council

Speech by Hanke Bruins Slot, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, on behalf of the Group of Friends of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine. UN Security Council, 23 February 2024.

The spoken word applies.

Enlarge image Minister Bruins Slot at the UN Security Council
Image: ©UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Madam President,

I am here today on behalf of the ‘Group of Friends of Accountability following the aggression against Ukraine’,

a group of 49 member states and the European Union.

We share a strong conviction:

We don’t accept that might makes right.

And so it is with heavy hearts that we continue to witness Russia’s unwarranted, unprovoked and illegal war in Ukraine.

Time and time again the UN member states have underlined the need for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.

Yet Russia has turned a deaf ear to these pleas.

As firm believers in right over might, we cannot look away.

We must do our utmost to hold Russia and those responsible to account for the crimes committed in and against Ukraine.

We commend the efforts and initiatives already taken so far.

Such as the ongoing work of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission;

the Commission of Inquiry established by the Human Rights Council;

and SRSG Patten’s Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence.

We also continue to support the Ukrainian Prosecutor General;

the work carried out by the International Criminal Court;

the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression,

and the Register of Damage for Ukraine.

Because we are all working towards one goal:

Ensuring accountability for the most serious crimes committed on Ukrainian territory, and against the Ukrainian people.

Madam President,

Russia’s act of aggression violates the UN Charter.

As parties to this Charter,

there is only one way we can respond:

This cannot stand.

Therefore we reiterate our call on the Russian Federation to comply with its international obligations.

We will never stop calling for this.

We will keep demanding Russia withdraw all of its forces and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

We will never stop - never stop - supporting the people of Ukraine.

Thank you, Madam President.