Intervention by Permanent Representative of Ukraine, Ambassador Y.Klymenko at 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR Programme
68th Session of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR Programme
Intervention by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine,
Ambassador Yurii Klymenko
October 4, 2017
The delegation of Ukraine commends the High Commissioner for his able leadership of the Organization in its tireless efforts to help people all over the world and the UNHCR staff for their dedication and hard work, often in difficult and dangerous situations.
Referring to High Commissioner's opening statement and acknowledging that this is a challenging time for all of us considering a constantly growing number of affected persons due to the conflicts and natural disasters, we believe that the Global Compact on Refugees, which is called to enhance the international response to large movements of persons, should become an indisputable tool for facilitating the current humanitarian situation in the world. The Ukrainian side believes that a proper attention in the Global Compact should be paid to the protection of IDPs, which are a major part of persons of concern to the UNHCR.
We are pleased to note consistent work of High Commissioner on reforming the Organization and adherence to the strategic directions of the UNHCR's work. This includes, in particular, the search for long-term solutions and the strengthening of cooperation with international development agencies, such as the WB and UNDP. We commend and encourage continuing significant advances in this direction.
Forced displacement is happening now almost in every part of the world; however main centers of instability remain the same for quite a long period of time.
Ukraine, which unreservedly meets its international obligations under the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto, has been facing enormous humanitarian challenges.
Russia’s over three-year-long hybrid aggression has led, in particular, to more than 1.5 million IDPs in Ukraine, to whom the Government of Ukraine, together with international partners, continues to provide all necessary assistance, further undertaking all possible institutional and legislative efforts to increase their social and security guarantees and ensure IDPs’ human rights.
However, much remains to be done to improve the situation of IDPs. Among the most pressing problems are water and electricity supply in Donbas, repair of damaged infrastructure, provision of housing for IDPs and social and psychological reintegration etc.
The situation is further complicated because of the constant blocking by the so-called "local authorities", supported by Russia, of an access to the territories in Donbas temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian Government for the humanitarian aid from the reputable international organizations.
We call upon the Russian Federation to strictly implement its part of the Minsk Agreements, namely withdraw its military units and mercenaries from Ukraine’s territory and stop supporting illegal armed groups with weaponry and ammunition. Once it’s done, the humanitarian situation in the southeast of Ukraine will quickly stabilize and all those forcibly displaced can return to their homes and come back to normal life.
Moreover, the UNHCR is faced with the reluctance of the occupation authorities to provide unimpeded access to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine) for the monitoring mission with the purpose to assess the humanitarian needs of population of concern to the UNHCR under its mandate. We would appreciate further consistent efforts of the UNHCR aimed at fulfilling its mission to Crimea.
The Ukrainian side highly values the continuing active engagement of the UNHCR together with other international partners in helping Ukraine to tackle the acute humanitarian problems, in particular, related to providing much needed assistance to the vulnerable population. Because of the unprecedented nature and scope of the humanitarian challenges my country has been confronting, we continue counting on our partners helping hand, in particular, appropriate funding of the UN-led Humanitarian Response Plan 2017 for Ukraine and UNHCR programmes.
During the last years Ukraine has gained together with international partners a unique experience in dealing with massive internal displacement against the backdrop of the hybrid external aggression. This experience could be taken on board while elaborating the comprehensive refugee response framework and programme of action as integral parts of the future Global Compact on Refugees.
In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, I would like to underline that humanitarian activities remain one of the main instruments to make our world a safer and secure place. Ukraine is committed to further support the High Commissioner's Office activities, in particular in my country.
I thank you.
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