12 May 2023
The Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group’s Leadership Forum met in Warsaw, Poland on May 11-12, 2023, one year after its launch on May 25, 2022.
The Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA) is a unique multilateral partnership. ACA was established by the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom to support the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine (OPG) in the investigation and prosecution of war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law resulting from Russia’s unprovoked and illegal war. ACA’s goal is to help ensure justice is achieved, and those responsible for atrocity crimes are held accountable.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin recently announced that Ukraine has registered over 82,000 cases of war crimes.
The purpose of the Leadership Forum is to reconfirm commitments to the ACA and justice for Ukraine, show a united front in efforts to hold Russia to account, and discuss multinational support toward the effort. ACA coordinates among partners to ensure effective and expedient deployment of financial resources and skilled personnel to respond to the needs of the War Crimes Units of the OPG in Ukraine.
ACA already provides technical know-how and expertise to the OPG to increase its capabilities and capacities. Under the ACA umbrella, delivery actors have developed and provided guidance to the OPG on how to interview vulnerable victims and witnesses, including those held as prisoners, children subjected to filtration, and victims of gender-based violence.
The three ACA Principals (representing the ACA Participants) are U.S. Ambassador Beth Van Schaack, EU External Action Service Managing Director Stefano Tomat, and UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Head of Department Hazel Cameron.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said:
“In your support of a fair, independent justice process, the ACA team demonstrates one of democracy’s strengths: its respect for the truth and for genuine accountability.”
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said:
“There can be no impunity for the perpetrators of war crimes in Ukraine. The EU Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) is the EU’s key delivery actor for the Atrocity Crime Advisory Group, with a mandate to support the work of the Office of the Prosecutor General. EUAM support to Ukraine in its search for justice is further proof of the EU’s unshakeable commitment to accountability and the future of Ukraine and the welfare of its people.”
UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly said:
“The atrocities we’ve witnessed in Ukraine since Russia’s illegal invasion are sickening. Those responsible must be held to account. I’m proud that the UK and our international partners have taken a leading role in supporting Ukraine’s investigations into war crimes. We stand united with Ukraine and applaud the work of the Prosecutor General in ensuring justice for the people of Ukraine.”
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said:
“The challenges arising from the enormous number of war crimes committed by the aggressor on Ukrainian soil are immense. Thousands of civilians have suffered from these crimes. ACA’s support is an indispensable contribution to our response to these challenges. This includes assistance in investigating and prosecuting Russia’s international crimes and facilitating our efforts to ensure aid and protection for the survivors and witnesses. “