Amid global protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Democracy Without Borders released a statement today condemning “the war of aggression carried out by the Russian regime and its enablers.”
The international civil society group that is promoting global democracy and global citizenship declares its “solidarity with the Ukrainian people and their government who are faced with this illegal invasion. We stand in solidarity with all people speaking out for peace, democracy and freedom who are abused by the Russian regime and its forces: in Ukraine, Georgia, and Russia itself.”
The group says that Russia’s attack “is a blatant violation of the UN Charter” that is “not only directed against the people of Ukraine and fundamental principles of a peaceful international order” but also “directed against the principles of democracy, freedom and human rights that have started flourishing in Ukraine.”
The attack is directed against the principles of democracy, freedom and human rights
According to Democracy Without Borders, the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine “is escalating the covert and open global war of autocratic regimes against democracy” and “democratic forces need to push back as strongly as they can.”
The group calls “on all governments to help isolate the Russian regime and its enablers on the international stage, to assist Ukraine in exercising its right to self defense and to adopt the strongest possible measures to apply financial, economic and political pressure on the aggressors so they retreat and end hostilities.”
The statement considers “the Russian veto against a Security Council resolution on this matter a misuse of the veto privilege as there is an obvious conflict of interest” and calls on member states “to seek a legal opinion from the International Court of Justice on whether the use of the veto under such circumstances can be reconciled with the spirit and aims of the UN Charter.”
Welcoming an emergency meeting of the General Assembly under the principle of “Uniting for Peace”, which the group has been calling for even before the full-scale invasion started, the statement says that “strong measures of the international community” should be mandated by the UN.
The group emphasizes that “the International Criminal Court has legal jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide on the territory of Ukraine since 2014” and that the court’s prosecutor needs to collect evidence on whether such crimes are committed so those resonsible can be held accountable, in particular Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Democracy Without Borders calls on “all countries that haven’t already done so to join the International Criminal Court and accept its jurisdiction. This is the moment for them to show their commitment to international justice.” The United States, in particular, is not a party to the court.
According to the document, Democracy Without Borders believes that “a major reform of the UN is necessary to enable the world organization to maintain international peace and security and to deal with global challenges such as climate change or pandemics.” Among other things, the statement calls for the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly which could be done “right now” below the difficult threshold of amending the UN Charter.
The statement emphasizes that the group condemns violations of international law and fundamental human rights “independent from whom and where they are perpetrated.” The group’s executive director Andreas Bummel added, however, that “now is the moment to support Ukraine in fending off an illegal full-scale invasion.”
Update: On 2 March 2022, a special session of the UN General Assembly under the “Uniting for Peace” formula adopted a resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.” On the same day, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced that he is opening investigations.
The full statement can be read here. A Russian version is available here.