Minister Simon Coveney on UN General Assembly vote and referral of Russia to the ICC
Statement02 March 2022
Ireland is at the forefront of efforts to bring an end to this unprovoked conflict. In the last number of days, in Dublin and in multilateral organisations across the globe, the Irish Government and our diplomats and officials have worked tirelessly to support Ukraine and to hold Russia accountable for its actions.
Today the United Nations General Assembly adopted a strong resolution condemning Russia for their illegal, unjustified and unprovoked attack against Ukraine. Ireland co-sponsored this Resolution, along with almost a hundred other UN Member States, and we are proud to be numbered amongst the 141 countries who voted to adopt this resolution today.
As an elected member of the UN Security Council, Ireland has also been active in condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. We co-sponsored a Security Council Resolution last week, which was ultimately vetoed by Russia. I am pleased that the General Assembly has acted today, where the Security Council has failed.
The strong and cross-regional support in the General Assembly for the resolution is a firm rejection of Russia’s flagrant violation of the UN Charter, and of international law. Ireland’s Embassies across the world actively lobbied for its adoption.
I am also proud today to join a group of 38 States in referring the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This referral answers the call of the ICC prosecutor contained in his announcement on Monday, indicating his intention to begin an investigation encompassing alleged crimes that have occurred as part of the conflict in Ukraine in recent days.
By referring the situation in Ukraine, Ireland and other States Parties will enable the prosecutor to immediately begin his investigation into alleged crimes currently unfolding there and will promote justice and accountability for the Ukrainian people caught in the conflict.
Ireland has also been active at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, where I spoke this morning to warn that Russia’s actions and aggressive nuclear rhetoric threaten to undermine the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. I expressed our abhorrence at the use of prohibited cluster munitions in the conflict, and expressed grave concern about civilian casualties arising from Russia’s extensive use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
At an emergency session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors in Vienna, Ireland called for Russia to cease all actions that compromise the safety, security and physical protection of nuclear facilities in Ukraine. We underscored that any attack or threat against peaceful nuclear facilities is a violation of the principles of the UN Charter, international law and the IAEA statute, and joined the call for maximum restraint to avoid any action that may put these facilities at risk.
Tomorrow, I will address the Human Rights Council and will call for an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces, and the holding to account of all perpetrators of violations and abuses of human rights. Ireland is an original co-sponsor of the resolution tabled by Ukraine on the situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression, calling for the appointment of an independent international commission of inquiry by the Human Rights Council. Ireland together with some 140 other diplomats joined the walk out yesterday in response to the address by Foreign Minister Lavrov.
Ireland’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right to choose its own foreign and security policy path remains unwavering.
02 March 2022
Notes to editors
The other States to also refer the situation to the ICC are: Republic of Albania, Commonwealth of Australia, Republic of Austria, Kingdom of Belgium, Republic of Bulgaria*, Canada, Republic of Colombia, Republic of Costa Rica, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Kingdom of Denmark, Republic of Estonia, Republic of Finland, Republic of France, Georgia, Federal Republic of Germany, Hellenic Republic, Hungary, Republic of Iceland, Ireland, Republic of Italy, Republic of Latvia, Principality of Liechtenstein, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Republic of Malta, New Zealand, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Republic of Poland, Republic of Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Republic of Slovenia, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Sweden*, Swiss Confederation and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.