Response to Russian invasion of Ukraine exposes an international system unfit to deal with global crises
March 28, 2023
- Amnesty International’s Annual Report for 2022 highlights double standards throughout the world on human rights and the failure of the international community to unite around consistently-applied human rights and universal values.
- The West’s robust response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine contrasts sharply with a deplorable lack of meaningful action on grave violations by some of their allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
- Women’s rights and freedom to protest are threatened as states fail to protect and respect rights at home.
- As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 75, Amnesty International insists that a rules-based international system must be founded on human rights and applied to everyone, everywhere.
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 unleashed numerous war crimes, generated a global energy and food crisis and sought to further disrupt a weak multilateral system. It also laid bare the hypocrisy of Western states that reacted forcefully to the Kremlin’s aggression but condoned or were complicit in grave violations committed elsewhere, Amnesty International said as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world.
Amnesty International Report 2022/23: The State of the World’s Human Rights found that double standards and inadequate responses to human rights abuses taking place around the world fuelled impunity and instability, including deafening silence on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, inaction on Egypt and the refusal to confront Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.
The report also highlights China’s use of strong-arm tactics to suppress international action on crimes against humanity it has committed, as well as the failure of global and regional institutions – hamstrung by the self-interest of their members – to respond adequately to conflicts killing thousands of people including in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Yemen.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a chilling example of what can happen when states think they can flout international law and violate human rights without consequences,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created 75 years ago, out of the ashes of the Second World War. At its core is the universal recognition that all people have rights and fundamental freedoms. While global power dynamics are in chaos, human rights cannot be lost in the fray. They should guide the world as it navigates an increasingly volatile and dangerous environment. We must not wait for the world to burn again.”
While global power dynamics are in chaos, human rights cannot be lost in the fray.Agnès Callamard, Secretary General, Amnesty International