S'pore supports independent inquiry into alleged rights violations in Ukraine by Russia

Singapore also called on Russia to cease its offensive military operations in Ukraine.

Sulaiman Daud | April 08, 2022, 07:01 PM

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Singapore calls on all parties to cooperate with an independent commission of inquiry into the alleged human rights violations in Ukraine following reports of mass civilian killings in the suburb of Bucha, northwest of the capital city of Kyiv.

It also condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing attacks on Ukrainian cities, civilians and infrastructure in the "strongest possible terms".

The reports from Bucha of mass civilian killings and widespread destruction of property led to outrage from the global community.

The U.S. led an effort to suspend Russia from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.

A two-thirds majority of the 193-member UN General Assembly was needed to succeed. 93 countries voted yes, 24 voted no and 58 countries abstained. Singapore was one of the abstentions.

Singapore maintains full support for Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence

Singapore's deputy permanent representative to the UN, Jophie Tang, took to the floor to elaborate Singapore's position.

She communicated Singapore's condemnation of Russia's invasion and reiterated its full support for Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence.

"Singapore's position on this has been clear and consistent since the beginning of this conflict," Tang said.

She pointed out that Singapore previously co-sponsored and voted in support of other resolutions, such as demanding an end to Russian aggression against Ukraine and recognising the humanitarian consequences arising from the invasion.

Singapore has also imposed its own financial sanctions on Russia as a show of support for the principle of sovereignty and international law.

Tang said, "Singapore is gravely concerned and distressed by the latest reports and images from Bucha and other Ukrainian towns of high civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure. We strongly condemn any violations of human rights and international humanitarian law."

Tang also noted that an Independent International Commission of Inquiry would be established to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights in Ukraine, and Singapore awaits the completion of its work and findings.

"There must be accountability for any gross and systematic human rights violations that have taken place in the conflict in Ukraine. We urge all parties to cooperate with the Commission and allow full and unhindered access for the Commission to gather evidence and conduct its work."

Tang also called on Russia to immediately cease its offensive military operations and work with Ukraine to reach a peace settlement.

Singapore's abstention is consistent with support for rules-based multi-lateral system

According to a statement from a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson, Singapore abstained from the vote as it awaits the findings of the commission.

The spokesperson called on all parties to give the commission full and unhindered access to gather evidence and added:

"Our abstention on this particular resolution is consistent with our longstanding and steadfast support for the rules-based multilateral system and the due application of its mechanisms."

You can read a transcript of Tang's comments and the statement from MFA here.

You can also watch the video below, starting from 1:55:58.

Top image from UN YouTube.

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