UN Security Council Arria-formula Meeting Marking The Second Anniversary of The Occupation of Crimea

UN Security Council Arria-formula Meeting Marking The Second Anniversary of The Occupation of Crimea

On March 18, UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting marking the second anniversary of the occupation of Crimea by Russia was held in New York at the United Nations Headquarters. The meeting initiated by Ukraine was dedicated to the human rights situation on the peninsula.

The event, which was attended by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zaid Al- Hussain, Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Affairs of Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev, President of Freedom House Mark Lagon, head of the Crimean Human Rights Group Olga Skrypnyk and the head of Ukrainian NGO "Center for information on human rights " Tatiana Pechonchyk strongly appealed to the delegations of the UN member states.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted in his speech that the human rights situation in the region is critical and requires constant monitoring by the international community.
Mustafa Dzhemilev informed the UN member states of the persecution of the Crimean Tatars by the Russian authorities. Besides that he drew attention to the efforts of the Russian side to conduct legal proceedings against Mejlis, a self-governing body of Crimean Tatars, which could result in a ban of all activities of this body and classify it as an extremist organization.
NGO representatives in their speeches drew attention to numerous violations of human rights in Crimea, stressing the complete impunity for the actions of the occupation authorities.
The delegations of the United States, Britain, France, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Poland, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Turkey, Austria, EU, Sweden, Denmark, Moldova and many others took part in the discussions. The unanimous condemnation of the occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and the implementation of its policy of repression against political and civic activists was the characteristic element of every statement made.

It was highlighted that a clear indication of this policy is the unjust verdict for Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and activist Alexander Kolchenko. The Russian side was called upon to immediately release illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, who are in fact being held hostage by Kremlin.

The restrictions of civil and political rights of the people living on the peninsula, the virtual absence of freedom of speech, the atmosphere of fear and intolerance, aggressive propaganda of Russian chauvinism raised concern of UN member states. The participants stressed that Russia as an aggressor state holds full responsibility for ensuring human rights in Crimea in accordance with international obligations in the field of humanitarian law.

UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting on the situation in Crimea showed consistency of the position of the international community on the illegal occupation of Crimea, as well as deep concern regarding the critical situation of human rights on the peninsula.

*UN Security Council Arria-formula meetings are initiated by the delegations of members of the UN Security Council to enable the members of the Council to get information on a particular issue from a broad range of participants who are usually denied the opportunity to be heard during the formal meetings of the Security Council. Such meetings may be closed (with only members of the UN Security Council) and open (to all UN member states) formats and allow their participants to engage in direct dialogue with representatives of governments, international organizations and non-governmental representatives from a wide range of issues on the agenda of the Council.

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