Statement by the delegation of Ukraine in explanation of vote before adoption of a UNGA draft resolution on cooperation between UN and CIS

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine in explanation of vote before adoption of a UNGA draft resolution on cooperation between UN and CIS

Mr. President,

Before the General Assembly proceeds to the adoption of draft resolution A/71/L.5 “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)”, I would like to make the following statement.

In general Ukraine supports the cooperation between the UN and regional and other organizations with regard to the Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. We consider it to be an important condition for effective settlement of conflicts and promotion of peace and security.

Unfortunately it is not the case with the CIS. To our disappointment this organization demonstrated its complete failure to take appropriate measures to respond to the Russian aggression in Ukraine. The CIS is still pretending that there is no Russian aggression, no illegal occupation of Crimea, no war crimes committed by the Russian Federation.

At the same time I would like to make a short clarification. I am speaking about the CIS as an organization. We are very grateful to some of its members for their non-recognition of attempted annexation of Crimea. Your voice is important in our common efforts aimed at defending the UN Charter.

Mr. President,

I would also like to remind that Ukraine has not signed the decision of the Council of Heads of State of the CIS of 24 December 1993 on certain measures to ensure international recognition of the CIS, with regard to granting observer status for the CIS in the General Assembly. In not doing so, Ukraine acted on the basis of the Statement of 20 December 1991 of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine concerning the conclusion of the Agreement on the CIS, which stated that Ukraine declined to grant the Commonwealth the status of a subject of international law.

The delegation of Ukraine must also draw attention to the fact that the basic documents of the CIS — namely, the Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS, the Alma Ata Declaration and the CIS Charter — do not qualify the status of the Commonwealth as one with the features of a subject of international law. The CIS is a special international, interregional formation which not only lacks definite status but actually includes a military and political alliance established on the basis of the Tashkent agreement on collective security of 15 May 1992, which binds only some members of the Commonwealth.

My delegation would also like to bring your attention to the fact that some provisions of the draft resolution don’t correspond in full to the realities on the ground.

In particular OP1 of the document notes that “…the activities of the CIS to strengthen regional cooperation in such areas as trade and economic development…” while the Russian Federation has undertaken targeted illegal and discriminative steps on trade with Ukraine. With respect to Ukraine it unilaterally suspended a Free Trade Area Treaty of 18 October 2011 (concluded within the CIS), as well as introduced prohibitions and restrictions on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products, raw materials and food supplies, prohibitions and limitations on freedom of transit of international cargo transit from Ukraine through the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. Prohibition and limitation by the Russian Federation of the transit through its territory of Ukrainian goods violate the freedom of transit under Article V of GATT 1994 and the Customs Valuation of the World Trade Organization.

We must also bring attention to the provision of the OP1 on “…combating… terrorist acts, manifestations of extremism…”. We express our disappointment that although the Commonwealth positions itself as an active fighter against terrorism and extremism, it has displayed itself with the total absence of response to the actions of one of its most influential members — the Russian Federation — an aggressor and occupier country, which controls, finances and directs the actions of illegal armed groups in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine, supplying them military equipment and weapons and constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security.

Under the mentioned circumstances Ukraine abstained from putting to the vote draft resolution A/71/L.5 exclusively on the understanding that its adoption should not be interpreted as de jure recognition of the Commonwealth as a regional arrangement, as defined in Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, bearing responsibilities for dealing with matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security, in particular for enforcement action under the authority of the Security Council.

I thank you.