Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be hotly debated at the five-week session of the UN Human Rights Council which begins on Monday.

Heads of state and other dignitaries representing more than 140 countries will address the United Nations Human Rights Council over the next three days. Quite unusually, this high-level segment will begin by considering a request from Ukraine to hold an urgent debate on the “human rights situation in Ukraine resulting from Russian aggression”.

The chairman of the council, Argentinian Ambassador Federico Villegas, told reporters in Geneva that an urgent debate could take place as soon as the 47-member body decides.

“And must make a decision according to the rules of procedure, which is a consensus or a majority vote of the positive votes on the negative votes. … We had the most recent, I’m sure you know very well in 2020, Belarus was an urgent debate, and the murder of George Floyd was also an urgent debate, he said.

Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said he hoped the council would immediately address the issue if war broke out, noting that the council had the ability to help prevent war crimes.

“As far as Ukraine is concerned, I don’t see the role of the council in trying to stop a war. It’s the Security Council. But if war breaks out, the council is really the primary place to address how the war is being fought and…if there are large-scale war crimes, it’s the role of the council to bring the crimes to light of war in order to deter them,” he said. .

During the session, the council will consider more than 100 reports dealing with issues such as torture, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary detention. The human rights records of some 50 countries from all regions will be examined. They include Myanmar, North Korea, Syria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Human rights organizations are pressuring the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, to deliver a long-awaited report on the incarceration in China of more than one million Uighurs in internment camps in Xinjiang province.

The United States, France and Lithuania have denounced Beijing’s large-scale crackdown on Uyghurs as genocide. China vigorously denies these accusations.