112th Session of the IOM Council
Intervention by Permanent Representative of Ukraine
(1 December 2021)
We congratulate the IOM on its 70th anniversary and acknowledge the unique role of the Organization in coordinating activities aimed at ensuring the efficient management of migratory flows at global and regional level as well as in implementing measures contributing to orderly and safe migration.
Ukraine also recognizes the IOM as a crucial partner in humanitarian emergencies, including its efforts to address humanitarian needs stemming from the pandemic.
We particularly value the assistance provided by the IOM in Ukraine in the development and realization of an effective state migration policy, including through the successful implementation of a number of projects in the migration sphere. We look forward to continuing such a constructive cooperation.
For the eighth consecutive year, Ukraine has been countering external armed aggression, which continues to disrupt civilians’ lives and the country’s infrastructure.
At present, as a result of the continuing military aggression and occupation in Crimea and parts of Donbas, the number of internally displaced persons in my country amounts to over 1.4 million.
We appreciate support by the IOM in providing financial and humanitarian assistance to the affected population.
The Government of Ukraine continues to undertake consistent efforts to meet the needs of the people, who had to flee their homes from armed hostilities and occupation.
State programs providing housing for IDPs have been launched in Ukraine. The procedures for crossing the contact line as well as for issuing identity documents for the residents of the temporarily occupied territories have been simplified too.
This October the Government of Ukraine adopted the Strategy for the Integration of Internally Displaced Persons and the Implementation of Medium-Term Decisions on Internal Displacement until 2024 to ensure all necessary conditions for the smooth and effective integration of IDPs in the host territorial communities.
A year has passed since the IOM accepted, by voting, a new member. The member, which has illegally annexed and occupied the territory of another IOM member. The member, which continues to pursue the forcible change of the demographic structure of the population of the temporarily occupied Crimea. According to the UN reports, up to over 500 000 Russian citizens have moved to Crimea since its attempted annexation by the Russian Federation in 2014. In addition, over 45 000 Ukrainian citizens have left Crimea due to intimidation and persecution. They continue to be subjected to forced deportations.
Russia pursues these unlawful policies in defiance of international humanitarian and human rights law, in full disregard for the demands of the international community contained in numerous UN General Assembly Resolutions to end the practices of deporting Ukrainian citizens from Crimea and to stop transferring its own civilian population to Ukraine’s peninsula.
These actions also contradict the principles enshrined in the Constitution of the International Organization for Migration, in particular that of the free movement of persons.
In recent months, we have seen attempts to exploit the vulnerability of human beings for political purposes. We strongly condemn deliberate putting people’s lives and wellbeing in danger in violation of fundamental human rights. Such inhumane actions need proper attention and reaction by the IOM.
Russia’s disruptive role behind the ongoing migration crisis at the EU boarders is obvious. We regard it as another stage of Russia’s hybrid war against Europe. We stand in full solidarity with our partners affected by this hybrid attack. Having witnessed all that, we, the IOM members, should ask ourselves whether the hasty decision a year ago to accept Russia as a new IOM member has contributed to the realization of the goals and objectives of this Organization.
Ukraine’s answer is a resolute “NO”.
But we should not give up in enforcing implementation by the Russian Federation of its obligations and commitments under the IOM statutory documents. We must redouble our efforts in promoting the principles and values of our Organization to ensure our common resilience to the pressing challenges. As we mark the 70th anniversary of the IOM, Ukraine reiterates its support for the IOM's mandate and activities aimed at making our world a better place to live in.
I thank you.