Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit


Ukraine appreciates the initiative to hold this Summit meeting. It is a timely opportunity for Member States and the UN leadership to consider measures to promote peace, security and the human rights, their interconnection and especially the role played by Nelson Mandela in shaping modern world.

The Mandela’s legacy proves that the power of personal courage, integrity, self-confidence, self-sacrifice and leadership may be much more powerful than the power of a country. The speech that Nelson Mandela gave the day he walked out of prison, reaffirmed the same demands he made to the government on the day that he was sentenced to jail. So, after 27 years, he walked out of prison proud and unbroken.

Despite 27 years in jail he knew that anger could tear his country further apart, so, instead, he chose nation building over revenge.

“Recognize that the world is hungry for action, not words. Act with courage and vision” – these are the words of a true leader.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Ukraine is proud of being a true friend and defender of human rights, especially in times of first democratic Presidential elections in 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected as President of the Republic of South Africa. Ukraine was also actively engaged in the activities of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid, serving as vice-chair of this body for many years, ensuring restoration of justice in South Africa.

Let me recall in this connection – as just one element – the unique experience of Ukraine’s participation in the UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, including in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, South Sudan and the Sudan.

Nowadays, despite foreign aggression, Ukraine continues its proud duty as a PKO’s contributor in Africa region. Looking back to the more than 25 years history of Ukraine’s participation in the UN peacekeeping activity I am particularly proud that blue helmets from Ukraine became a part of the operations that contributed much to peace in Africa: from the introduction of robust peacekeeping in Cote d’Ivoire to the most recent success story in Liberia. We remain a reliable partner of the UN and of Africa in this endeavor.

Furthermore, increased attention on the part of the Security Council to peacemaking and peace-building on the African continent was among the main priorities for Ukraine during its non-permanent membership in this body in 2016-2017.

Dear friends,

Peace and security and respect for human rights are closely linked. We support those who declare that the human rights violations must be considered as an early warning for future instability and conflicts and we are committed to advance the attention to human rights while discussions in relevant UN formats. In this regard, Ukraine has consistently promoted Human Rights Council Resolution on the role of prevention in ensuring and protecting human rights.

Turning back to the figure of Nelson Mandela we are glad that his heritage continues to enrich even after the end of his days. A true recognition of the personal strength was the adoption of the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners in 2015, also known as Mandela Rules. This is a true honor for all of us to share the legacy of Madiba today.

I thank you.