Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

1383rd Meeting of the Permanent Council – Anniversary of the downing of MH17

Australia’s National Statement to the 1383rd Meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Thursday 21 July 2022

Agenda Item 9: Any other business
‘Eighth anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17’

Delivered by Ambassador H.E. Richard Travers Sadleir


Thank you, Chair.

Australia fully aligns itself with the statements delivered by the Netherlands and by the Czech Republic on behalf of the EU on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Last week marked eight years since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which resulted in the tragic deaths of 298 passengers and crew members.

Australia is steadfast in our enduring commitment to seek truth, justice and accountability, including on behalf of the victims of the downing of Flight MH17. We must hold those responsible to account, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166.

Since 2018 Australia and the Netherlands have underscored Russia’s responsibility under international law for the downing of Flight MH17, based on the strong body of evidence presented by the Joint Investigation Team.

As noted by the Netherlands, Australia and the Netherlands have instituted legal proceedings in the International Civil Aviation Organization.  This is an important step in our pursuit of accountability for Russia’s role in the downing.

In the interests of the safety of global civil aviation we must ensure that such an act as horrific as the downing is never repeated. We call on Russia to cooperate fully with the efforts to pursue accountability.

Our thoughts remain with those who perished on board, their families and loved ones. We owe it to the victims and their loved ones to do everything possible to deliver the justice and accountability they seek.

As others have noted in our meeting today, Russia’s current war of aggression against Ukraine is yet another manifestation of Russia’s disregard for international law and for the lives of civilians, which was so clearly demonstrated in the downing of flight MH17. Australia continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unilateral, illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine.  Australia strongly supports Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.  We call on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory, consistent with the legally binding decision of the International Court of Justice.

Thank you, Chair.