Statement by First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Ms. Emine Dzhaparova at the Ministerial Round Table on Commission on the Status of Women

Statement by First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Ms. Emine Dzhaparova at the Ministerial Round Table on Commission on the Status of Women

Distinguished colleagues, dear participants and friends,

It is with a heavy heart but with great pride that I address you today. Ukrainians, including women are living through the unimaginable these days.

My fellow citizens and myself have lovingly built my country for 30 years.

Bur Russia, through its 2014 invasion of my homeland Crimea and fueling up the war in Donbas, which is in the eastern part of my country, attempted to undermine the very core of international principles and laws and the rules-based order that we all share. We, I mean the democratic states.

In my home, again, in occupied Crimea, women have become an very strong voice to defend democratic values. Especially Crimean Tatar women who were left without their fathers, husbands, sons and brothers who were put behind bars for alleged reasons of being terrorists, saboteurs, spies, extremists.

February 24, 2022 has opened a new page in the world's history. Russia has started a full-fledged, full-scale war against my country.

The Russian forces are conducting massive artillery shelling, air bombardment and missile strikes on residential areas of Ukrainian cities.

They destroy critical infrastructure objects, attack and seize nuclear power plants.

Ukraine has launched an investigation into the commission of ecocide and a terrorist act in connection with the attack by Russian troops on the largest in Europe Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, equal to six Chornobyl.

Actually, the mere Chernobyl nuclear power plant, tragically known to the whole world since 1986, is also in permanent danger due to actions of the Russian aggressor. As you know, the International Atomic Energy Agency has lost contact with the safeguards monitoring systems at Chernobyl that was seized by Russia in the first days of the war.

These actions put the world on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe.

The aggression of Russia creates threats of ecological catastrophe not only in Ukraine, but throughout Europe, and threatens the world with nuclear weapons.

Hospitals, schools, kindergartens, ambulances, orphanages, have all become under the fire.

On March 9, in Mariupol, Russia destroyed a maternity hospital, a children’s ward and a therapy ward during an air raid in the city centre. As a result of the Russian attack, 17 doctors and one expectant mother have been injured, three persons, among whom was a little girl, died.

It should be remembered that the air strike on the maternity hospital in Mariupol was carried out during the ceasefire regime, which Russians confirmed for the humanitarian corridors. Everyone sees the price of agreements being made and confirmed by the Russian Federation.

The Russian invasion has driven more than 2 million Ukrainians out of the country. More than half of them are women caring for small children and the elderly.

For the sake of those who are at risk, I am grateful to be able to speak to you today and standing with courageous women and girls who are defending peace in Ukraine, in Europe, in the world.

Ukraine now boasts of more than 30,000 women soldiers, 15 per cent of its military personnel.

The video of a 79-year-old volunteer Valentyna Kostyantynovska learning to fire a Kalashnikov has gone viral.

Other Ukrainian women are organizing the distribution of humanitarian supplies across the country and worldwide.

Others have to live with their children in bomb shelters, in the subways, in the basements without access to water, food and facilities.

Women hold 21 percent of the seats in the Ukrainian parliament. Many of them stayed in Kyiv just to keep government system functioning, and others they take active part in the military.

The peaceful life of the Ukrainian people has been ruined in the most barbaric and unimaginable way.

We extremely need international support to win and protect the very basis of international law and rule-based order, and we will need your support after our victory, when we will restore our cities and ruined towns.

But for now, Ukrainian women and children ask the Western world to close the sky over Ukraine and save their lives.

In conclusion, I will leave you with one very inspiration example, when the brave voice of a young Ukrainian girl named Amelia, who in a bomb shelter, in the face of danger, found herself to comfort others with the Disney song, “Let It Go,” singing out “the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all… It's time to see what I can do.” Let Amelia’s brave voice and a fearless sense of freedom inspires us all.

Thank you.