Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the meeting of the PX commission concerning item 5.I (L) “Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)”
the Delegation of Ukraine
at the meeting of the PX commission concerning item 5.I (L)
“Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)”
(Paris, 202nd session of UNESCO Executive Board, 11 October 2017)
Distinguished Members of the Board,
I would like to thank all those member States who voted for this decision and thus demonstrated the Board’s determination to look for practical solutions when the founding principles of our Organization are being violated.
This is the eighth decision of the Executive Board on the follow-up of the situation in Crimea (Ukraine), and, in spite of skeptical voices, each of these decisions has brought us closer to the establishment of UNESCO mechanism monitoring situation at the occupied peninsula within the areas of Organization’s competence.
Urgency of this task has only increased in the course of Russian occupation as we are witnessing the process of drastic curtailing of human rights in Crimea in all areas of responsibility of UNESCO, further degradation of the human rights situation in Crimea in general.
Growing concern on the part of the international community over this outrageous situation was reflected in the UN General Assembly Resolution 71/205 of 19 December 2016 “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol (Ukraine)”, the International Court of Justice Order of 19 April 2017, as well as in the OHCHR Thematic report on the situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
Constantly we have been receiving shocking news on the massive, well-planned offensive launched by Russia against individuals, organizations and institutions they deem to be incompatible with occupation regime. After information meeting held on 20 September this year, we have learned about the cruel and totally unfounded sentence of the so-called court delivered to Ilmi Umerov, Medjlis Deputy Chairman, as well as of decision of the so-called state registration service of the occupied Crimea that, in total defiance of the international law, including the relevant UNESCO Conventions, had registered the illegal appropriation of the 32 historic buildings of the Bakhchisaray Crimean Khans Palace, a unique 16th-century site already inscribed in the World Heritage Tentative List. Just today, in the same city of Bakhchisaray at least 10 Crimean Tatars were arrested by the Russian authorities.
Situation in the occupied Crimea constitutes a test for international community and this Organization, this is a challenge to our readiness to demonstrate that UNESCO is able to act when its values are at stake.
That is why we highly appreciate the support of the member States and constructive approach of the Secretariat, in particular the team headed by ADG Eric Falt, that made it possible for us to work jointly on the ways to launch the direct monitoring activities in Crimea within the spheres of the competence of UNESCO as mandated by the Executive Board’s decisions. We have entered the final stage of the elaboration of the parameters of these activities. We also expect the new leadership of this Organization to make full use of the results of this endeavour.
Within this context I would like to recall again the recent resolutions and conclusions of the UN bodies which demand Russia to ensure the proper and unimpeded access of international human rights monitoring missions and human rights non-governmental organizations to Crimea.
Ukraine is ready to continue and reinforce our dialogue with the Secretariat, members of the Executive Board, member States of UNESCO. The direct monitoring activities of UNESCO Secretariat should become an important instrument to redress the situation in Crimea within the spheres of this organization’s competence.
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