Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNGA Third Committee meeting

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNGA Third Committee meeting

As prepared. Check against delivery

Mr. Chair,

Ukraine strictly adheres to its international obligations and commitments under international law in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law, and is fully committed to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms on its entire territory within internationally recognized borders.

As a country, where the Russian armed aggression has brought about a serious deterioration of the human rights situation in particular in the occupied territories, Ukraine needs continued and active involvement of UN human rights mechanisms to address the issue. We count on continuation of close interaction with the UN Secretary-General and OHCHR in this regard.

In 2014, the Government of Ukraine invited the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission to follow the situation on the ground. Mission’s numerous reports, including on situation of human rights in Crimea, eloquently illustrate the scope of Russian crimes in Crimea. I shall also extend our special appreciation to the UN Secretary-General for the release of his first report on Crimea pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/263.

The report demonstrates Russia’s persistent non-cooperation with OHCHR and its failure, as the Occupying Power, to respect its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. Russia has continued applying its legislation in Crimea contrary to its obligation under international humanitarian law to respect the laws in force in the occupied territory.

Violations of civil, political, economic and cultural rights and fundamental freedoms of people living on the peninsula, including the indigenous people – Crimean Tatars, are widespread.

Dozens of Ukrainian citizens have been arbitrarily detained in Crimea under false charges and unlawfully transferred to the territory of the Russian Federation. According to the SG Report, the Russian Federation encourages transfer of its own population to the peninsula, which is a direct violation of the Geneva Conventions and a clear sign of the attempt to change the demographic structure of Crimea. We urge the Russian Federation in this regard to stop transferring the Russian population to Crimea and firmly adhere to its obligations under international humanitarian law.

Despite the release of 35 Ukrainians by the Russian Federation, including Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh, yet, the Kremlin continues to stubbornly ignore appeals of international organizations, political leaders and civil society to release all Ukrainians, deprived of their liberty on politically motivated charges.

We hope that this issue will continue to be in the focus of special and regular attention of the Office of High Commissioner and the whole UN human rights system.

In the Donbas region of Ukraine, residents of the occupied areas still suffer from indiscriminate shelling, anti-personnel mines as well as human rights abuses, including killings, arbitrary and incommunicado detentions, torture and ill-treatment. There too, the UN Human Rights Mission is systematically denied access to critical areas and facilities to implement its monitoring mandate.

Freedom of opinion and expression is under particular threat there and, virtually, non-existent. Just a few days ago, another Ukrainian journalist, Stanislav Aseyev, was sentenced by the Russian occupation administration in Donetsk to 15 years in prison. We condemn this decision and demand his immediate and unconditional release.

Mr. Chair,

This session my delegation will once again submit a draft resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea, Ukraine. We hope, like in previous years, it will gain solid support of many countries who believe in the value of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in the primary responsibility of the State to promote and protect them.

I thank you.