GENEVA — The U.N. Human Rights Council voted 32-2 on Wednesday to authorize the creation of a three-member commission of inquiry that will monitor and investigate all “abuses and violations of international humanitarian law” resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Many nations’ delegates, wearing the colors of Ukraine’s yellow-and-blue national flag, spoke against Russia’s week-long attack on its neighbor.
Russia and Eritrea were the only two countries in the 47-nation council that opposed the measure, which also condemned the invasion and demanded that Russia withdraw from Ukraine in a “swift and verifiable” manner. Another 13 nations, including China, India, Pakistan and Sudan, abstained from the vote. The council also called for humanitarian workers to be allowed unimpeded access and held a minute of silence for Ukraine’s victims.
An independent international commission of inquiry made up of three human rights experts will be appointed to one-year terms by the council’s president.
Their mandate will be to, among other things, “investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and related crimes, in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, and to establish the facts, circumstances, and root causes of any such violations and abuses; and to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to ending impunity and ensuring accountability,” the council said.