On October 18, 2016 at the closing plenary meeting of the 200th session of the UNESCO Executive Board the decision "Follow-up the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine) was adopted.
According to this decision the UNESCO Director-General is invited to present another report on this issue at the next session of the Executive Board in April 2017. In order to develop the recommendations for solving critical problems in the temporarily occupied territory of the peninsula in the UNESCO’s fields of competence sending a monitoring mission to Crimea is expected.
The adoption of the decision was preceded by the considering of the respective report of UNESCO Director-General (unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002457/245703e.pdf, p.41) at the meeting of the Programme and External Relations Commission, held on October, 11 in the framework of the Executive Board session. The report highlights the activities of the UNESCO Secretariat and information about the events in Crimea and the City of Sevastopol provided by the Ukrainian side as well as institutional partners of UNESCO.
The document underscores that after the illegal occupation by Russia the situation on the peninsula in UNESCO’s fields of competence continues to deteriorate.
Presenting the report, the representative of the UNESCO Director-General informed of her intention to explore in cooperation with the Ukrainian side the possibility of introducing direct monitoring of the situation on the peninsula in the spheres of competence of UNESCO.
None of the delegations supported the proposal of the Russian delegation to put the draft decision "Follow-up the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)" to the vote. Thus, for the first time while considering by the Executive Board the issue of monitoring the situation in temporarily occupied Crimea, the decision was adopted by consensus.
Speaking after the adoption of the decision, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov gave evidence of flagrant violations of human rights, primarily those of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians, by the occupying Russian authorities in the spheres of competence of UNESCO. He stressed that the banning of the Mejlis by Russia was the worst example of this policy of the occupying power.
Refat Chubarov welcomed the intention of the Director-General to explore the possibility of direct monitoring of the situation in Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by UNESCO. "Ukraine expects such monitoring activities to be constant and comprehensive. We are ready to continue and intensify our dialogue with the Secretariat, members of the UNESCO Executive Board and Member States to ensure the conversion of this intention into practical actions ", - said the member of the Ukrainian delegation.
The delegations of the US and the EU welcomed the intention to introduce direct monitoring by UNESCO on the peninsula and reaffirmed their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.