On April 11, 2018 the UNESCO Executive Board at its 204th session in Paris adopted the decision “Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)”. It is the ninth such decision since the illegal occupation of the peninsula by Russia.
The decision envisages the continuation of the monitoring by UNESCO of the situation in Crimea within its fields of competence.
The UNESCO Director General report served as a basis for the Board’s decision. The report highlights brutal violations by the occupying authorities, in particular in the sphere of protection of cultural heritage: the so-called “restoration works” at the territory of the Khan's Palace in Bakhchysarai, the illegal archaeological excavations and illicit trafficking of artifacts from the territory of Crimea which are held in breach of international law.
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin welcomed the decision of the UNESCO Executive Board and underlined that it should create the possibilities for a direct monitoring by UNESCO of the situation in Crimea facilitating to put an end to blatant violations in the fields of education, protection of cultural property and freedom of speech in the occupied Crimea.
The parameters for the direct monitoring were agreed by Ukraine and the UNESCO Secretariat last November.
The decision of the Executive Board invites the Director General to present the next report on the situation in Crimea at the 205th session of the Executive Board in October.