Restoring Justice For Ukraine – OpEd


By Frans Makken

An international register of damages has been launched at the Restoring Justice for Ukraine international conference in The Hague, allowing Ukrainian civilians to begin lodging claims against Russia.

Executive Director of the International Register of Damage, Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi, described the move as “a beacon of hope for ordinary people” while Iryna Mudra, Ukrainian vice-minister of justice, stressed that the most vulnerable should be prioritised.  

“This is a great achievement not only for the Ukrainian team, but also for the entire international community, a revolutionary event for global international law,” she continued, adding that consultations were underway to fill the compensation fund “with the frozen assets of the Russian Federation, because the aggressor must pay for the country’s suffering”.

There are currently 44 members of the International Register, but speakers at the April 2 event noted that more countries needed to sign up as substantial funds would be required for its operation.

Co-hosted by the Netherlands, Ukraine and the European Commission, the conference highlighted the wider need to restore justice for Ukraine. Foreign and justice ministers from participating countries attended as well as representatives of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Eurojust and Ukrainian NGOs.

In a video address, president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the Netherlands for promoting the establishment of a Special Tribunal on International Crimes, including the crime of aggression and called for the confiscation of Russian assets to pay for damages.

He stressed the importance of the fight against impunity, describing the conflict as “our common war”.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan also noted the wide array of stakeholders dealing with human rights abuses, war crimes and legal support in Ukraine. 

With some 20 countries now investigating crimes of aggression, he said there was a need for an effective mechanism to exchange information, prevent data overload and develop uniform standards. 

The road to justice, “is long and difficult” stated the President of Eurojust Ladislav Hamran, “but also small victories add up”.

  • About the author: Frans Makken worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands for more than 25 years, holding numerous senior roles in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This included serving as Dutch Representative to the Palestinian Authority, as Ambassador to Rwanda and Burundi and as Ambassador to Kenya, Somalia and Seychelles, as well as Permanent Representative to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • Source: This article was published by IWPR


The Institute for War & Peace Reporting is headquartered in London with coordinating offices in Washington, DC and The Hague, IWPR works in over 30 countries worldwide. It is registered as a charity in the UK, as an organisation with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) in the United States, and as a charitable foundation in The Netherlands. The articles are originally produced by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

One thought on “Restoring Justice For Ukraine – OpEd

  • April 9, 2024 at 6:44 am

    UN and UNSC have miserably failed to have peace in the world, also failed to end the Ukraine-Russia War, the Gaza conflict, and the Syrian crisis. Expecting to restore justice For Ukraine through “An International Register of Damages” allowing Ukrainian civilians to begin lodging claims against Russia. Describing the move as “a beacon of hope for ordinary people” will only remain a distant Hope for the Ukrainians! Substantial funds would be required for its operation, who will fund as it is the NATO-EU are in a funding crisis itself! Zelensky called for the confiscation of Russian assets to pay for damages. Great hope! Some of the organisations are just seeking funds to remain relevant and in existence with colossal costs without any worthwhile ground output compared to cost inputs.


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