We, the representatives of participants of the Core Group on options for the establishment of a tribunal on the crime of aggression against Ukraine, gathered today, 9 May 2023, to confirm our unwavering support for peace, security and democracy in the world.
We recall that security in Europe and the world is interconnected and can be guaranteed only in full respect for international law, integral components of which include the territorial integrity and political independence of States, the prohibition of the use of force and the inherent right of States to self-defense as reflected in the UN Charter.
We express our deepest respect for the courage and stamina shown by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which have become a strong shield for all European nations with support of nations globally. Ukraine is paying a high price not only for its future, but also for the security and future of others.
We confirm our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine, who have been fighting to defend their independence in the face of Russian aggression.
We support the principles for a just and lasting peace outlined in the Peace Formula of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the need for any peace to fully reflect the UN Charter, and the Resolution of the UN General Assembly dated 23 February 2023 "Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine". We express our support for the implementation of this peace initiative and call on all states to support this process as well.
We emphasize that we will stand side by side with Ukraine in its fight against the Russian aggressor and call for the full restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.
We call on the entire world to support and provide assistance to Ukraine as quickly as possible.
We strongly condemn Russia's illegal, unjustifiable and unprovoked armed aggression, which grossly violates the UN Charter, as confirmed by UN General Assembly Resolution ES-11/1 (2022), which deplored in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and recalled Resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, which defines aggression as the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter, and which states that a war of aggression is a crime against international peace.
We condemn any crimes and atrocities committed by Russia’s forces and officials, including attacks against civilians, conflict-related sexual violence and other war crimes and crimes against humanity. We call on Russia to immediately release all illegally detained citizens of Ukraine, and to return all deportees, including children. We reiterate our commitment to holding those responsible to account consistently with international law, and support the efforts of international mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court, OSCE Moscow Mechanism and the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine.
We emphasize the need to pursue justice as called for in the Bucha Declaration regarding responsibility for the most serious crimes under international law committed on the territory of Ukraine. We therefore reaffirm that those responsible for committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine must not go unpunished, and call on the international community to consider appropriate actions, including through the establishment of an appropriate justice mechanism to ensure effective accountability for the crime of aggression, which is of concern to the international community as a whole.
We therefore support exploring the creation of a tribunal to ensure effective accountability for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.
We underline the importance of the Core Group as the main platform for developing an effective mechanism for exploring the legal and technical issues involved in creation of such a tribunal and call on other states and international organizations to join our collective work.