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Intervento del Sottosegretario agli Affari Esteri, On. Benedetto Della Vedova, nell’ambito del side-event: “Russia’s attack on Ukraine and its human rights consequences”, a margine della 49ma sessione del Consiglio Diritti Umani

Il Sottosegretario Della Vedova è intervenuto oggi a margine della 49ma sessione del Consiglio Diritti Umani al side-event: “Russia’s attack on Ukraine and its human rights consequences”. 


(1° marzo 2022)

Dear friends,

Italy fully aligns itself with the statement of EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore. I would like to add some remarks on my national capacity.

Let me reiterate how shocked and appalled we are by what is happening right now in Ukraine. We condemn once more the Russian military offensive, which represents an outrageous violation of international law and of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

This is why Italy, under our Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, supported the decision to suspend the Russian Federation, which was adopted with an overwhelming majority.

I thank Minister Kuleba and Deputy Minister Emine Dzhaparova for organizing this event, even in this tragic moment, to address the already devastating impact of the conflict on human rights, as already highlighted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

This aggression is indeed horrendously affecting densely populated areas and defenseless and innocent civilians. We cannot turn away from this tragedy. The impact on human rights is catastrophic and those in the most vulnerable situations will be the most affected. In few days, hundreds of civilians died, including several children, and many more were injured. Furthermore, there are already over 500.000 refugees.

Italy is devoting a constant attention to the issue of children affected by armed conflicts. We are proud to strongly support the work of the UN in this field, including the Special Representative of the Secretary General for children in armed conflict, as well as the implementation of the Safe Schools declaration.

We stand close to the Ukrainian people and urge the Russian Federation to fully abide by its obligations by international human rights and humanitarian law and immediately cease all military actions. We also urge Russia to allow for a safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

In this sense, Italy is now allocating more funds in favor of those seeking refuge by fleeing Ukraine and for assistance to Ukrainian students, researchers and professors so that they can continue their activities in Italy.

Let me also stress our solidarity for all Russians that are demonstrating against this aggression – in Russia and elsewhere – and that are paying a high price for this: we praise your courage and your strength.

We believe the Human Rights Council has a role to play: this is why Italy strongly supported the request by Ukraine to hold an urgent debate during the current session of the Human Rights Council and already co-sponsored the resolution that will be tabled by Ukraine in order to establish a Commission of Enquiry on the international human rights and humanitarian law violations and abuses occurring in Ukraine.

The Human Rights Council needs to take its responsibility and promote all possible initiatives to ensure full accountability for the violations that are being committed.
Italy will continue to do its part to support Ukraine and its people.
Thank you.