On March 28, 2017 the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea in the fields of education, science, culture, freedom of expression was discussed at UNESCO Headquarters under the chairmanship of Assistant Director-General Mr. Éric Falt.
Speaking at the meeting Mr. Falt reiterated UNESCO’s constant support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in line with UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 of 28 March 2014 ‘Territorial integrity of Ukraine’. He informed that UNESCO Secretariat in consultation with the Ukrainian side was developing an effective mechanism of direct monitoring on the situation in Crimea in the fields of UNESCO's competence.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to UNESCO Mr. Oleh Shamshur drew attention to the serious deterioration of the situation in the temporary occupied peninsula, stressing the necessity of the direct monitoring by UNESCO of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
The significant aggravation of the situation in Crimea in the fields of UNESCO's competence was also certified by representatives of the OSCE, Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Amnesty International and ICOMOS. They provided the cases of blatant violations of human rights and oppressions of national minorities as well as of freedom of religion, of freedom of expression, of security of journalists, of access to the education in native language.
Speaking on behalf of the group of 23 states, mostly the EU members-states along with Albania, Island, Canada, Norway and the U.S., Permanent Representative of Sweden to UNESCO Annika Markovic expressed their concern over the deterioration of the situation in the territory of the peninsula.
The representative of the Turkish delegation underlined the concern of Turkey about worsening of the situation in Crimea, particularly the mass violations of the rights of Crimea Tatars.
The event was held pursuant to the Decision of the 200th session of the UNESCO Executive Board “Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)”. Some 120 representatives of Permanent Delegations to UNESCO as well as UNESCO Secretariat took part in the meeting.