Dam collapse to be instrumentalized at the Human Rights Council

Once again, the Ukrainian war is set to dominate the session of the Human Rights Council, where a new resolution will be submitted by Kiev’s main allies in the hope of maintaining pressure over Moscow, in what is being considered a key moment of the conflict.

According to diplomatic sources, the collapse of the Kakhovka dam will enhance the issue of the protection of civilians and will thus strengthen the argument from Western countries that the war must have center stage at the Council in Geneva. To this end, the new resolution will frame the act of aggression by Russia as an attack against civilians.

In a recent statement, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said that “wide flooding after [the] blast at [the] Kakhovka dam [is] already seriously impacting many civilians, along with their rights to housing, health, livelihoods, healthy environment and access to clean water,” adding that this is contributing to the suffering already caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine. “We urge full investigation and accountability,” the OHCHR concludes.

Western governments also hope to bargain for greater support from the Global South, by offering to sponsor and to promote issues related to development rights in other resolutions of interest.

The move to seduce more developing countries comes at a time when the White House and European governments are already somewhat preoccupied by the BRICS, specifically their decision to host Vladimir Putin at an August summit in South Africa. Indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, the Russian will seek to use the occasion to demonstrate that he is not isolated.