Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC briefing of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC briefing of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

As preprared. Check against delivery.

Mr. President,

Since this is our first public meeting under the Italian Presidency, I would like to congratulate you on assuming this post and wish you all the success in steering the Council’s work during this month.

Coming back to the subject of our today’s discussion, I thank UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Filippo Grandi for his overview of the situation with refugees globally, as well as for outlining the main challenges, operational and policy priorities of his Office.

We commend UNHCR’s endeavors to tackle problems that refugees are facing in different parts of the world. Your efforts are indispensable in addressing and solving related humanitarian crises that unfortunately are still a sad reality in the 21st century.

Ukraine commends the activities of the UN High Commissioner in this field, in particular, the adoption of the five strategic directions for 2017-2021 that will guide the Office’s engagement with all people of concern.

Given the scale of conflicts on the global map and the constantly growing number of affected persons, the process of reforming the UNHCR and its capabilities to respond to new challenges is very much welcomed.

The remarkable work to involve the international development actors in the search of the long-term solutions to humanitarian crises is noteworthy. We commend and encourage further progress on this track.

The historical commitments made by the Member States here in September 2016 through adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants should lead to the successful elaboration of the Global Compact on Refugees, which would allow to address forced displacement situations more comprehensively and provide all people of concern with a better protection.

Mr. President,

Ukraine welcomes UNHCR’s significant efforts and engagement to protect and assist IDPs throughout the world, who represent a major part of persons of concern to the UNHCR under its mandate.

We welcome the UN High Commissioner’s last year visit to Ukraine, which generated a positive momentum in response to the IDPs situation in my country.

Just to highlight, there are 1.7 million IDPs in Ukraine. All these people were forced to leave their homes in Crimea and certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions following the Russian military aggression against my country.

And as we just heard here, Russia presents itself as a donor, while in fact being a donor of a donor of heavy weaponry, mercenaries and regular troops in Donbas.

Population displacement of this scale on the European continent is not something to be ignored, brushed aside or glossed over. These people deserve to be mentioned, as you rightly did Mr. High Commissioner, no less than refugees and IDPs in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Myanmar and other countries.

At the same time, we thank the UNHCR and its international partners, including individual member states, for the valuable assistance provided in response to the displacement crisis in Ukraine.

On our part, we will continue to support the UN High Commissioner’s Office activities, in particular in my country.

I thank you, Mr. President.