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News in Brief 3 March 2022

News in Brief 3 March 2022

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations. 

Bachelet leads calls for Ukraine ceasefire at Human Rights Council 

An urgent debate on Ukraine began at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, as UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet led calls for a ceasefire, insisting that Russia’s military attack had opened “a new and dangerous chapter in world history.” 

It’s been a week since Russia’s self-styled “special military operation” began, leading to heavy shelling of Ukrainian cities, Ms. Bachelet said. 

“Military operations are escalating further as we speak, with military strikes on and near large cities, including Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk, Sumy, Mariupol and Zhytomyr, and the capital, Kyiv. The town of Volnovakha in Donetsk region has been almost completely destroyed by shelling, and its remaining residents have been hiding in basements.”  

The High Commissioner echoed others in saying that “States must abide by international law and the core principles that protect human life and human dignity.”  

Top international court to launch war crimes probe in Ukraine 

The development comes as the International Criminal Court, or ICC, announced that it is to open a probe into possible war crimes in Ukraine. 

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan tweeted the decision on Wednesday evening, adding that his office would be looking for evidence for “any past and present” allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, committed inside Ukraine. 

Although the country has accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC since 2013, Russia is not a member of the court. The ICC prosecutes individuals, as opposed to the International Court of Justice, which resolves disputes between countries. 

Racism, xenophobia must stop against third country nationals in Ukraine: IOM chief 

The head of the UN migration agency has issued an appeal for an end to “discrimination, violence and xenophobia against third country nationals” attempting to flee the conflict in Ukraine.  

Antonio Vitorino said that “men, women and children from dozens of nationalities – including migrant workers and students – are facing acute challenges as they attempt to leave conflict-affected areas, cross borders into neighboring countries and seek life-saving assistance.   

Before calling on States to investigate this issue and address it immediately, he underscored that any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, nationality or migration status was unacceptable. 

Liz Scaffidi, UN News. 

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  • Bachelet leads calls for Ukraine ceasefire at Human Rights Council

  • Top international court to launch war crimes probe in Ukraine

  • Racism, xenophobia must stop against third country nationals in Ukraine: IOM chief  

Audio Credit
Liz Scaffidi, UN News
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© UNICEF/Anton Skyba for The Globe and Mail