Statement by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr.SERGIY KYSLYTSYA at the Agenda item 10 of the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council
30th session of the UN Human Rights Council
Agenda item 10
Interactive Dialogue on High Commissioner’s for Human Rights
oral update on the situation in Ukraine
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
Mr. SERGIY KYSLYTSYA
Geneva, September 29, 2015
Let me first of all thank Assistant Secretary General Ivan Šimonović for his update, informed by his most recent visit to Ukraine. I would also like to express gratitude of my Government to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and its Monitoring Mission in Ukraine for their dedicated efforts aimed at assisting us in continued improving of human rights situation.
It is of key importance to remind that today’s update by the Office of the High Commissioner is taking place on realization of the resolution of the Council initiated by Ukraine and cosponsored by dozens of its members. The very resolution that the Russian Federation disapproved and voted against.
Promotion and protection of human rights is a foundation for a large-scale reform program launched in Ukraine in 2014. We have already made bold steps on this path, including the start of anti-corruption reform, beginning of decentralization and de-regulation and securing free access to public information. It is undertaken in the circumstances caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the Russian occupation of a part of Ukraine’s territory.
Eleventh report of the Mission clearly indicates a continuing flow of heavy weaponry and foreign fighters from the Russian Federation into the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by illegal armed groups. Among the facts recorded by the Mission there were crimes committed by Russia-backed illegal armed groups in Donbas region such as massacres of civilians, kidnapping, torture, sexual violence, forced labor and extortion.
We share an alarm expressed by the UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien that the self-proclaimed authorities in Luhansk region have ordered United Nations agencies to end operations and to leave the area.
We are also deeply concerned by the fact that missions of international organizations and special procedures have no access to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to monitor the observance of human rights, where the situation continues deteriorating.
On 17 September, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities released a 100-page Report with paramount evidence that since the occupation and annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in early 2014 the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms has deteriorated radically for a large number of residents and displaced persons, where Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are direct targets.
The Russian Federation keeps on ignoring its obligations under the International Convention on Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination and other international instruments in the field of human rights.
We believe that the grave and systemic character of the problem with the observance of human rights in Crimea by the Russian occupying authorities requires a separate detailed OHCHR report.
From every rostrum in the world we have been repeating the names of Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Olexandr Kolchenko and other Ukrainians, political prisoners of the Russian regime, illegally held by the Kremlin in its prisons.
I call upon the Member States to increase their pressure on the Russian authorities to make them immediately release all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.
Full-scale information war and propaganda campaign have become a particular form of continuing Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine.
Fake news, outright lies to justify aggression made even in this Room by Russian delegation, propaganda of intolerance and violence undermine the principles of freedom of expression.
We believe that the only credible tools to overcome the destructive effect of information war are truth, transparency and international scrutiny.
On August 25, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister handed over to the Registrar of the International Criminal Court the Declaration of Ukraine accepting the jurisdiction of the Court over crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the territory of Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian military aggression against our country. Along with the previous Declaration covering Maidan period this constitute a significant contribution of Ukraine in international efforts to end impunity for the perpetrators of most serious international crimes of a widespread or systematic nature.
My country acceded to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, recognizing the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances under articles 31 and 32 of the Convention. Illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and Russia’s subversive activities in the east of my country made enforced and involuntary disappearances a serious problem for Ukraine, which is clearly reflected in the latest OHCHR report.
On the initiative of the President the Government of Ukraine in cooperation with the civil society has developed a National Human Rights Strategy in the sphere of human rights. The Strategy took into account best international experience and practices from the human rights perspective.
We are grateful to international human rights bodies, including the United Nations, for providing technical assistance to the Government in elaboration of the Strategy, and their continued assistance in our work on drafting National Action Plan.
The evaluation of the efficiency of Strategy implementation shall be based – among other things - on results of monitoring of Ukraine by international organizations, social surveys, and opinion polls.
We realize that this is only the beginning of a long way ahead, and we rely on further support from the Office of the High Commissioner and from wider international community.
We believe that today’s Interactive Dialogue as well as those to be held during next HRC sessions will be an important contribution in this regard.
I thank you.