On July 13-14, the Ukraine Accountability Conference is being hosted by Wopke Hoekstra, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Karim A.A. Khan QC, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and EU Commissioner of Justice Didier Reynders.
The Conference is aimed at ensuring accountability for war crimes committed in Ukraine, according to Hoekstra in his opening speech, “Just like a climate strategy and a Covid strategy, we need an accountability strategy.” Hoekstra continued, “A strategy driven by the universal belief that all of us are protected by law. Ensuring that all roads lead to justice. Now and in the future.”
ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan called for an “overarching strategy” to coordinate efforts to bring perpetrators of war crimes in Ukraine to justice. Since the beginning of the invasion, his office has applauded international efforts sending prosecutors and investigators to Ukraine. “The simple truth is that, as we speak, children, women and men, the young and the old are living in terror” said Khan.
Additional speakers included Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell, and closing words from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Zelensky’s speech included breaking news in the conflict, “Today in the morning, Russian missiles hit our city of Vinnytsia, an ordinary, peaceful city. Cruise missiles hit two community facilities, houses were destroyed, a medical center was destroyed, cars and trams were on fire. . . This is the act of Russian terror.”
45 countries at the conference signed a political declaration to work together on investigations into war crimes in Ukraine. International cooperation will help avoid the duplicating investigations, train Ukrainian prosecutors, and expand the forensic teams operating in Ukraine. Additionally, a 20 million euros was pledged to the ICC, the prosecutor general’s office in Ukraine, and United Nations support efforts.
Among the topics on the agenda are: the principles of complementarity in action; Ensuring evidence collected can be put before courts; and prioritizing the interests and needs of survivors and victims of core international crimes
Some sessions are closed while others are open to the public and available on YouTube through the conference website.