As a result of the illegal occupation of the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation the situation in the territory of the peninsula in UNESCO’s fields of competence continues to aggravate. This was stated at the meeting chaired by the Assistant to the Director General of the Organization Eric Falt in the UNESCO Headquarters on September 20.
The Representative of the OHCHR in Ukraine Mark Boyanich and the Head of Advocacy and external relations, Amnesty International France Anne Castagnos-Sien provided concrete facts of violations of human rights and the rights of national minorities, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of press, infringement of security of journalists and access to the education in native language.
The Permanent Representative of Ukraine to UNESCO Oleg Shamshur drew attention to increasing tendency of suppression by the Russian occupying power in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol of democracy, violations of the rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in the fields of education, culture and the freedom of expression.
Eric Falt reconfirmed the strong support of UNESCO to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. He also informed that the Secretariat of the Organization in cooperation with Ukraine approached the final stage of consultations on the parameters of the mechanism of direct monitoring of the situation in Crimea in UNESCO’s fields of competence.
The event was attended by some 120 representatives of the Permanent Missions of Member States accredited to UNESCO and the institutional partners of the Organization.
The meeting took place pursuant to the decisions of the 194-201st sessions of the UNESCO Executive Board "Follow-up of the monitoring of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)". The report of the UNESCO Director-General on this issue will be considered at the 202nd session of the Executive Board (4-18 October 2017, Paris).