Statement by Permanent Representative of Ukraine Y.Klymenko at the HRC interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Ukraine
Oral presentation by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights
of the 20th OHCHR report on the situation in Ukraine
Permanent Representative, Ambassador of Ukraine
Mr. Yurii KLYMENKO
Geneva, December 15, 2017
Let me thank the Deputy High Commissioner for her presentation and update. We are grateful to the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and the Office of the High Commissioner for their dedication and hard work that continues for more than three years already on the invitation of the Government of Ukraine. Today we have their 20th report on the table.
The report reflects what is an acute pain and a bleeding wound for Ukraine, human losses and humanitarian devastation caused by unstoppable armed hostilities in Donbas, which, in turn, are the result of the Russian aggression against my country. According to numerous OHCHR reports, and the latest is no exception, the uncontrolled sections of the border between Ukraine and Russia remain the source of escalation on the ground as flows of Russian weaponry and military personnel into Donbas persist.
Russian-backed illegal armed groups continue reprisals against people on the territories temporarily out of the Government control, increasing persecutions, arbitrary detentions, torture and executions. Their Russian masters habitually deny the direct presence in Donbas of their mercenaries and troops, which is the primary reason for sufferings and hardships of millions of people living in parts of Donbas under Russia’s effective control, and bear on with the relentless attempts to lay the blame on the Government of Ukraine – which, no doubt, we will hear shortly again.
We commend the ongoing hard work of the Monitoring Mission to document large-scale crimes committed against our citizens in the occupied Crimea. As before, OHCHR records Russia's violation of its obligations under international humanitarian law as an occupying power. The practices leading to serious human rights violations affect Crimean Tatars disproportionately. Criminal convictions for expressing critical and opposing views are a direct violation of freedom of speech and expression, religion, beliefs and peaceful assembly. The occupying Russian authorities continue to deny access for human rights international mechanisms to the territory of the peninsula.
We join in the call by OHCHR to the Russian Federation to implement the UN General Assembly resolution 71/205 and to ensure the realization of human rights in Crimea for all and respect for Russia's obligations imposed on the occupying power in accordance with the provisions of international humanitarian law.
We call on the international community to intensify the pressure on the Russian Federation to immediately stop acts of aggression against Ukraine, withdraw Russian armed forces from the Ukrainian territory, cease the supply of weapons and military equipment to militants of terrorist organizations in the Ukrainian Donbas, and to abolish any acts aimed at legalizing the illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula.
Holding the occupying authorities responsible for failing their obligations under international law is the main aim of the resolution “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)”. Next Tuesday, the document will be considered by the GA plenary, and I take this opportunity to invite all the delegations to support it.
Let me briefly touch upon the issue of the Law of Ukraine “On Education” in light of the Venice Commission recommendations issued last Monday. The Commission’s decision makes it possible to transfer the issue of further implementation of educational reform in Ukraine solely to an expert domain.
We count on a constructive approach from our foreign partners and are ready to provide complete and meaningful information about the next steps of Ukraine, so that the process of educational reform goes transparently and does not become the subject of further politicization or misunderstandings.
Gross violations of human rights by the Russian Federation on Ukrainian territory can only be stopped by de-occupying Crimea, withdrawing Russian regular military forces, mercenaries, weaponry and hardware from Donbas, and releasing the hostages and illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.
We remain committed to continued cooperation with the OHCHR in improving human rights situation in my country, and look forward to further interactive dialogues during HRC sessions pursuant to the resolution 35/31.