Geneva/United Nations: India on Friday abstained in the UN Human Rights Council on a vote to urgently establish an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged human rights violations and related crimes following Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

The 47-member Council voted on a draft resolution on the ‘Situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression.’

The resolution was adopted with 32 votes in favour, two against (Russia and Eritrea) and 13 abstentions, including India, China, Pakistan, Sudan and Venezuela.

The countries voting in favour included France, Germany, Japan, Nepal, UAE, the UK and the US.

The resolution, which strongly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, decides to “urgently establish an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and related crimes, in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, and to establish the facts, circumstances, and root causes of any such violations and abuses.

A day before the resolution was adopted, India said at the Urgent Debate Thursday regarding the human rights situation in Ukraine at the 49th Human Rights Council Session in Geneva that it is greatly concerned over the steadily worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

India urged for an immediate cessation of violence and an end to hostilities. No solution can ever be arrived at at the cost of human lives. Dialogue and diplomacy are the only solutions for settling differences and disputes, India said.

India called for respect and protection of human rights of people in Ukraine and safe humanitarian access to conflict zones.

We are also deeply concerned over the safety and security of thousands of Indian nationals, including young Indian students, who are still stranded in Ukraine. We are working together with neighbouring States for their evacuation, it said.

Three human rights experts will be appointed to the Commission of Inquiry by the President of the Human Rights Council for an initial duration of one year.

The Commission will be mandated to identify, where possible, those individuals and entities responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, or other related crimes, in Ukraine, with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable.’

The resolution expressed grave concern at the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and calls on Russia to immediately end its human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine.

It also calls for the swift and verifiable withdrawal of Russian troops and Russian-backed armed groups from the entire territory of Ukraine, within its internationally recognised borders.

India has abstained on two resolutions on Ukraine in the 15-nation Security Council and one in the 193-member General Assembly in the last week.

The UN General Assembly this week overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine and demanded that Moscow completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine.

India abstained on the resolution, which received 141 votes in favour, five against and a total of 35 abstentions.

Also read | Biden speaks with Zelenskyy on fire at Ukrainian nuclear power plant

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