Виступ Постійного представника України при ООН під час розгляду проєкту резолюції "Ситуація на тимчасово окупованих Автономній Республіці Крим та м.Севастополь, Україна""

Виступ Постійного представника України при ООН під час розгляду проєкту резолюції "Ситуація на тимчасово окупованих Автономній Республіці Крим та м.Севастополь, Україна""

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Mr. President,

At the outset I would like to congratulate Ambassador Mohamed Said Doualeh on a successful chairmanship in one of the most deliberative and human-centric main Committees of the General Assembly.

Under your wise chairmanship amid continuing COVID-19 circumstances, we managed to complete the Committee’s work in the most possible efficient manner.

Mr. President,

As you rightly pointed out, the Committee has managed to pass a wide range of draft resolutions: from defending rights of the most vulnerable, which were additionally affected by COVID-19, to the country-specific situations, which continue to require close attention of the international community.

It is of particular concern that in the 76th year of the United Nations existence the gross human rights violations still persist in different parts of the world. They are caused by deliberative negligence in international law and undermining of the rules-based order.

Everyone can see Russian so called “peacemakers” in Syria, Georgia and Ukraine – in all places where Russia put the earth on fire. Russia pretends that there are no its troops in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. Russia “is not an occupying power” there.

Yet, reports of the international organizations and their missions, which were invited by Ukraine, clearly tell the contrary. They speak the truth in facts. The missions that still have been denied access by Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, which it attempts to annex illegally.

It is quite easy to get into the whole horror of the Russian occupation regime – one may open two recent Reports of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Crimea.

Repression, depression and hopelessness – that is what local population faces today in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

Systemic repressions have turned Crimea into an island of fear. The Crimean Tatar people – the indigenous people of the peninsula, expelled from their homeland in 1944, have again become a direct target of intimidation, harassment and terror forcing them to leave for a safer place in the mainland Ukraine.

Russia drives ethnic Ukrainians out of the peninsula, by destroying political and civic organizations of Ukrainians, eliminating education in Ukrainian language, persecuting leaders and activists, exerting massive psychological pressure, and expelling citizens of Ukraine from the occupied territory.

Anyone who dares to reject so-called “reunification with Russia” narrative becomes a victim of arbitrary detention, prosecution, extrajudicial executions torture, and inhuman treatment in Crimea.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in 2021 the numbers of illegal detentions of citizens who disagree with the policy of the Russian Federation in Crimea have reached new heights (147 in comparison with 68 detentions in 2020). Crimean residents are being detained on suspicion of participating in religious organization banned in Russia, evading conscription into the Russian armed forces, “terrorism”, “treason”, “sabotage” and other fabricated charges.

We strongly condemn sentencing of civic and political activists prosecuted for being loyal to their own country – Ukraine. Despite the demand expressed in the UN General Assembly resolutions Mr. Emin-Usein Kuku still remains in a Russian prison, as does Mr. Server Mustafayev – a human rights defender arbitrarily sentenced to 14 years in a strict-regime correctional facility. Hundreds of citizens of Ukraine including Halyna Dovhopola, Vladyslav Yesypenko and Nariman Dzhelyal, to name just a few, remain illegally detained by Russia under politically motivated charges.

We are also gravely concerned by recent documented cases in which Russian FSB tortured or ill-treated Crimean residents following their arrests.

Media freedom in Crimea is basically destroyed: Russia forced the independent media out of the peninsula and journalists like Vladyslav Yesypenko and many more others have been imprisoned and tortured.

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine is practically expelled from the occupied Peninsula. Communities of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims are also under oppression as well.

It is necessary to remind a well-known fact, which is continuously denied by the Russian Federation: since February 2014, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol of Ukraine have been temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation as a result of armed aggression against my country. Russia was recognized as an occupying Power by the General Assembly. Russia’s so-called bodies and officials established in the temporarily occupied Crimea are illegitimate and should be referred to only as an “occupying authorities of the Russian Federation”.

Despite Russia’s forced imposition of its legal system, residents of Crimea remain Ukrainians and my country will spare no effort defending its citizens.

I would like to name just one recent example. Since 1 December 2021, COVID-19 vaccination with internationally recognized vaccines is available on the Chonhar and Kalanchak crossing points on the administrative boundary line with Crimea for the population of temporarily occupied peninsula.

Meanwhile, Russia continues its aggressive illegal policy of militarization of the Peninsula, exploitation of nature resources, illegal transfer and destruction of the Ukrainian cultural heritage in Crimea.

The occupying power pursues the forcible demographic change in Crimea. According to the official data, more than 64,000 Ukrainian citizens were forced to leave the peninsula due to the atmosphere of hate and fear, discrimination and persecution for political and human rights activism, on ethnic and religious grounds. At the same time, Russia is transferring its own population into Crimea.

Mr. President,

De-occupation of Crimea, as well as other temporarily occupied territories, is an absolute priority for Ukraine.

We are grateful to our international partners for their response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine. It is important to keep the political and diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored.

To increase the effectiveness of the international response to an array of problems arising from the ongoing temporary occupation of Crimea, including in the field of human rights, we established a new consultation and coordination format – the International Crimea Platform.

We invite all interested parties to join the Platform and would like to thank our partners who already expressed their support to this initiative.

Mr. President,

This year’s draft resolution “Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” also calls on cooperation within International Crimea Platform and will serve as a practical tool in hands of the United Nations, its Secretariat, as well as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and their respective monitoring missions in Ukraine.

It will facilitate much the discharging of their important mandates with regard to ensuring strict adherence to the international human rights law and humanitarian law in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

I am grateful to all Member States from all regions who supported the draft in the Third Committee. It is encouraging that the text received co-sponsorship of more than 40 Member States. The adoption of the resolution gives hope to those of my people who still reside in the temporarily occupied Crimea, those who were forced to leave it and hundreds of those deprived by the Russian occupying authorities of their freedom.

I ask the Member States to vote YES for the draft resolution L.29!

I thank you, Mr. President.