43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council Agenda item 4 General debates
Intervention by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine, H.E. Ambassador Yurii Klymenko
(10 March 2020)
Ukraine shares the concern expressed by the High Commissioner and several delegations on the human rights situations in a number of countries, including Burundi, DPRK, Nicaragua, the Russian Federation, Syria and Venezuela.
The serious deterioration of human rights situation in Venezuela needs a joint response and concerted actions. We positively note the efforts of the Lima Group countries to keep the situation in Venezuela high on the HRC agenda with the view to improve conditions of Venezuelans, and support their initiatives in this regard.
In Syria, atrocities and human rights violations as a result of ongoing conflict continue. Nearly a million people have been forced to flee, hundreds of civilians were killed, and many others injured, humanitarian situation of hundreds of thousands of families is getting worse and worse. Ukraine is deeply worried by the recent escalation in Idlib and condemns the actions of the Syrian authorities supported by the Russian Federation, which, according to the latest report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, has been directly involved in war crimes of indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas.
The Russian Federation, itself, needs the special attention of the Council.
Today this country is more repressive than ever been in the post-Soviet era. Its authorities crack down on critical media, harass peaceful protesters, persecute human rights defenders, abuse human rights, gravely violate international law and IHL on the territories of Ukraine and Georgia occupied by Russia. Let me also draw your attention to the plans to amend Russia’s Constitution, it is crystal clear – the Russian Federation is preparing for further violation of international law.
Our special concern are the political prisoners in Venezuela, and in the Russian Federation. Both countries: one, recently elected again as the HRC member, and the other – a candidate to the Council’s seat for the period of 2021-2023, must stop practicing arbitrary arrests and detentions of political opponents of the regimes and immediately release political prisoners. Moreover, taking political hostages has become a deliberate policy the Russian Federation is pursuing as a part of its armed aggression against Ukraine, including to intimidate those opposing the occupation of Crimea.
I thank you.