News from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Joint press release: Event on Accountability for War Crimes in Ukraine with focus on a survivor centred approach and conflict-related sexual violence

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On 1 February 2023 the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The British Embassy in Copenhagen, and the Ukrainian Embassy in Copenhagen are co-hosting the event “Accountability for war crimes in Ukraine: A Focus on a Survivor Centred Approach and Conflict-related Sexual Violence” in Copenhagen.

The event will bring together high-level representatives from Ukraine, Denmark and the United Kingdom as well as representatives from leading international civil society, the UN and The International Criminal Court. The event is an occasion to exchange views and initiatives. The First panel of the event focuses on supporting Ukraine in holding perpetrators accountable for crimes relating to sexual violence. The second panel discusses lessons learned from previous conflicts on how the international community may support Ukrainian civil society organisations. The event builds on the high-level side event at last year’s UN General Assembly “Cooperation for Accountability in Ukraine – setting the next steps in collective action to deliver justice” hosted by the Netherlands, Germany, Ukraine and Denmark on behalf of the Group of Friends of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine, and the UK-hosted International Ministerial Conference on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative. Today’s event will take stock of existing efforts taken by a range of accountability actors. Experts from governments, the International Criminal Court, the United Nations and Ukrainian civil society will discuss how to ensure accountability for conflict-related sexual violence after Russia’s illegal aggression, and how to ensure that documentation and evidence gathering is done through a survivor-centred approach.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Mr. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, underlines the importance of seeking accountability for the international crimes committed in Ukraine:

“Ukraine’s fight for freedom is our fight. Russia’s aggression is an attack on the most basic international principles. We have heard testimonies from brave survivors and victims. These are appalling reports of rape and violence committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. This is why Denmark from the beginning has had a major focus on accountability in Ukraine. Events like the one today and the work done by the Group of Friends of Accountability are so important.”

The UK’s Minister for Europe, Leo Docherty MP, says:

“I am pleased to be here in Copenhagen this week to strengthen our alliance against Putin’s unprovoked aggression, working together with my Danish and Ukrainian counterparts in supporting the global effort to make Russia pay the price, and to bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice.  The UK has a long heritage of working to combat sexual violence in conflict and to address the impunity that has prevailed for perpetrators for too long.  We are committed to working with a coalition of countries determined to stop sexual violence in conflict, support survivors, and deliver justice.  And together, we will.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mr. Dmytro Kuleba, stresses that the topic of responsibility for war crimes in Ukraine is gaining more and more international publicity and resonance:

“The conference in Copenhagen is another important step towards raising awareness on this matter. All efforts are important. The work of the International Criminal Court, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The dedication of the on-site special mobile group of prosecutors, police officers, and psychologists. The contributions of Ukrainian, foreign, and international human rights non-governmental organizations and activists. We all have one goal in mind: To ensure that those guilty of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law who committed atrocities in Ukraine are held accountable.”

Today’s event lays another stone on the path towards justice for the people of Ukraine. The attendants and panellists will explore the different ways in which the international community can continue to support efforts to seek accountability for the perpetrators of international crimes in Ukraine.

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News from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
News from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
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