Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNGA meeting on the report of Human Rights Council

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNGA meeting on the report of Human Rights Council


Distinguished colleagues,

Ladies and Gentleman,

At the outset, I would like to convey sincere appreciation of my delegation to the President of the Council, distinguished Ambassador of Slovenia Mr. Vojislav Šuc, for his able and effective management of the HRC’ activities, particularly for his leadership in the preparation process to the review of the functioning of the HRC.

Ukraine attaches great importance to the review of the HRC work. We are convinced that the result of the review should improve and strengthen the effectiveness of the Council and its ability to protect human rights. In this regard, I would like to underline the importance of strengthening the prevention aspect of the Council’s activities.

We believe that the Council should increasingly strengthen the preventive dimension of its activity and address, in a timely and proactive way, emerging human rights situations in order to prevent grave human rights violations, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The persistence of human rights violations around the globe clearly demonstrates the need to focus more attention on preventive action. Regrettably, oftentimes we can see that the norms of international human rights law and international humanitarian law are breached and flouted with impunity.

In 2010, Ukraine initiated the introduction of an element of prevention into the work of the Human Rights Council and advocated the adoption of HRC resolutions «The role of prevention in the promotion and protection of human rights». We are grateful to the core-group countries for their cooperation in supporting and developing this subject.

Preventive measures and strategies are progressively gaining in importance as an effective tool of averting preventable threats and emergencies in the human rights sphere. Due to the fundamental and overarching nature of prevention, a broad interregional dialogue and consideration in a holistic manner is necessary.

Elaboration of an agreed concept of prevention and applicable guidance endorsed by the United Nations could assist in providing an adequate level of human rights protection and strengthening well-developed conflict prevention mechanisms at the UN. The Human Rights Council has a crucial role to play in achieving this objective. We are ready to continue and strengthen cooperation with all interested stakeholders in order to deepen the concept of prevention and fully exploit the preventive potential of the Council.

Ukraine highly appreciates the contribution of the Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures to addressing the current human rights situation in Ukraine, including in the occupied Crimea.

Ukraine is interested in and open for a broad and inclusive interaction on this track, and in this spirit we initiated the HRC resolution "Cooperation and assistance to Ukraine in the field of human rights". We appreciate the support of our human rights aspirations by the UN Member States and international institutions. We also believe that such international support should include efforts to counter human rights violations committed as a result of Russian aggression, including in particular in the occupied territories.

Ukraine attaches exceptional importance to implementation of UNGA resolutions 71/205 and 72/190 “Situation of human rights in Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine”, in particular the provisions providing for international monitoring of the situation in Crimea where human rights have been under constant attack by the Russian occupying power since 2014.

We commend the work of the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) and commit to continue our close cooperation with the Mission. The HRMMU`s recommendations for Ukraine help us make progress in achieving the highest international standards in the field of human rights. We also note the tremendous efforts of the High Commissioner’s Office in preparing the second dedicated thematic report on the situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol pursuant to UNGA Resolution 72/190.

Despite the denial of entry to the Ukrainian peninsula by the Russian Federation, the Monitoring Mission had multiple reliable sources of information to conduct a quality monitoring of human rights developments in the occupied Crimea. At the same time, acknowledging the efforts of the UN OHCHR in distant monitoring the situation, we, at the same time, continue to insist on and call for a direct reporting from the ground.

The continuing aggression of the Russian Federation not only negatively affects the security and humanitarian situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, but seriously undermines basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of civilians remaining in the territories not under the Ukrainian Government control.

The grave violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms committed by the Russian occupation administrations in Donbas and Crimea must not be ignored. Russia must abide by its obligations as occupying power and prevent humanitarian crises in the territories under its temporary control.

Ukraine fully supports the system of special procedures as a unique independent monitoring mechanism within Human Rights Council and as an integral part of the UN human rights machinery. We firmly believe that cooperation and transparency are crucial for promotion and protection of human rights. With this in mind, Ukraine has for a long time maintained an open standing invitation for all Human Rights Council’s Special Procedures.

We would like to thank Mr. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture, Mr. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Special Rapporteur on foreign debt, and members of the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances for their missions to Ukraine conducted over the past year. The Ukrainian authorities are fully committed to providing integrity of visits of all Special Procedures and other monitoring mechanisms in order to ensure full implementation of their mandates.

In conclusion, let me reiterate that Ukraine remains committed to actively engage further in the work of the Human Rights Council.

Thank you.