New York, 11 April 2023 (TDI): Elvira Cupika-Mavrina, Legal advisor of Latvia to the United Nations delivered a joint statement on behalf of Baltic countries at the United Nations at the Resumed Sixth Committee Session “Crimes against Humanity.”

The statement was made on behalf of three Baltic countries- Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The Baltic states shared the same stance as by the European Union and its member states.

The Baltic countries have always upheld international laws and advocated for a rule-based international order. The Latvian representative stated, “Respect for and promotion of international criminal law is of paramount importance for the international community to safeguard peace and security.”

The statement emphasized on the importance of the International Law Commission draft articles as a key foundation for an international convention. The draft articles will be effective in reaching accountability and justice for the victims of crimes against humanity.

The new convention will enable deterrence for the perpetrators from committing any heinous crime. The Latvian advisor appreciated the preamble for being comprehensive in its context and background on the nature and scope of crimes.

The preamble highlights the gravity and heinousness of such crimes. The first preambular paragraph states that: Mindful that throughout history millions of children, women and men have been victims of crimes that deeply shock the conscience of humanity.

The Latvian representative lamented that throughout history and even today children, women, and men are victims of most cruel international crimes that put human conscience to shame.

One of its examples is Ukraine. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine has underlined serious international law and human laws violations including Russia’s transfer and deportation of Ukrainian children.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants in connection with these alleged war crimes in this regard.

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Furthermore, Russia has been engaged in destroying critical civilian infrastructure for instance Ukraine’s energy-related infrastructure. It has also been involved in unlawful confinement and torture of men, women, and children.

All this amount to crimes against humanity. The statement deplored crime against humanity and urged the adoption of a legal framework to prevent heinous acts of violence around the world.

The Baltic countries welcome the preambular paragraphs. They strongly follow the underlying reasoning written in the last preambular paragraph: because crimes against humanity must not go unpunished.

The Latvian advisor also welcomed the draft Article 1 in its current form. The draft article will ensure that the perpetrator must face the justice system.

The draft articles apply to the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity.

The Baltic countries stressed adopting the new convention to provide further guidance and clarity in the prevention and punishment of such heinous crimes.