Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the UNO Branch and other International Organizations in Geneva

, Kyiv 09:11

Statement by Permanent Representative of Ukraine, Ambassador Yurii Klymenko at the Oral presentation by the OHCHR of the 12th periodic report on Ukraine

09 December 2015, 15:42

Oral presentation by the OHCHR of the 12th periodic report on Ukraine

Statement by Permanent Representative of Ukraine

Ambassador Yurii Klymenko

December 9, 2015

Mr. President,

Let me first of all thank Mr Gianni Magazzeni for his update. I would also like to express gratitude of my Government to all of the dedicated staff of the OHCHR and its Monitoring Mission in Ukraine for their assistance to my country in continued improving of human rights situation.

The twelfth report of the Office based on the Mission’s findings reaffirms previous indications of 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 summary executions, kidnapping, and torture.

We fully share the OHCHR conclusion that the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements remains the only viable strategy for achieving a peaceful solution in Donbas, which would pave the way for fuller respect of the rights of people, both in the conflict area and elsewhere in Ukraine. In fact, the Ukrainian side repeatedly calls for the Minsk implementation exactly for the reasons stated by the OHCHR, and we do fulfill our part of obligations – while the major impediment to this solution remains ignoring by Russia and its proxies of their commitments.

Russia must stop attacks and shellings, withdraw its troops, mercenaries and weaponry from Donbas and return to Ukraine control over its state border.  

We reiterate again that the Minsk agreements envisage the release of all hostages and illegally detained persons on the basis of “all-for-all” principle. This provision applies to the Ukrainian citizens, who continue to be illegally detained in Russia, including N.Savchenko, O.Sentsov, O.Kolchenko and others. Russia must fulfil its commitments and release those Ukrainian citizens immediately and unconditionally. We call upon international community to closely monitor this situation and use all instruments available to facilitate the release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.

The Ukrainian side shares concerns regarding the dire humanitarian situation in the territories of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia and Russia-backed illegally armed groups. Ukraine is doing its utmost to alleviate situation. To assist those in need, hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid from Ukraine and foreign partners have been sent to these areas. Only Russia continues to violate existing international norms and procedures by sending its “white trucks” of unknown content.

While speaking about the situation in the East and possible solutions, we must be clear, again and again: the serious deterioration of the situation with human rights in Donbass was caused by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

We are deeply concerned by the fact that missions of international organizations and special procedures still have no access to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to monitor the observance of human rights, where the situation continues deteriorating.

Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian activists, who opposed the Russian aggression, are victims of persecution. Only by strengthening the international pressure, it could become much more difficult for the occupying State to pursue this policy of creating blind spots on the map of human rights in Europe.

Against this backdrop, the recent adoption by the Russian Federation of a Federal Constitutional Law of 4 December, 2015, which provides for the possibility of non-enforcement in the Russian Federation of the decisions of international human rights mechanisms, is extremely worrying.

Mr. President,

In the meantime, Ukraine continues its path of comprehensive reforms. Amendments to the Constitution on the judiciary, just days ago presented to the Parliament by the President, were supported by the Venice Commission. The envisaged reforms are necessary for the foundation of a modern and sustainable democracy, fully respecting human rights and the rule of law.

Decentralization is a strong push towards political/social transformations. The Law “On Particular Features of Local Self-Government in Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions” is expected to promote re-integration processes in these areas.

There is a steady progress in implementing recently adopted National Human Rights Strategy, with the wide involvement of civil society and major stakeholders. We are grateful to international human rights bodies, including the United Nations, for providing technical assistance to the Government in elaboration of the corresponding National Action Plan.

We remain committed to continued cooperation with the OHCHR in improving human rights situation in my country, and look forward for further interactive dialogues during 31st and 32nd HRC sessions pursuant to the resolution 29/23.

Thank you.

Representative

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