Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1184th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 3 May 2018
The delegation of Ukraine warmly welcomes the UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner Volker Türk and the IOM Senior Regional Adviser for Europe and Central Asia Manfred Profazi to the Permanent Council and thanks them for their comprehensive statements and insights concerning the regional and global challenges in the sphere of migration.
We are convinced that finding solutions to migration-related concerns and displacement is indispensable for ensuring lasting stability and security in the OSCE area. Among 10 million persons of UNHCR’s concern within the OSCE area – almost one third or 3 million are internally displaced persons.
In Ukraine about 1.5 million of people have been registered as IDPs, the ninth largest number of IDPs in the world. They fled to the Government-controlled areas of Ukraine from the ongoing Russian armed aggression and gross human rights violations, perpetrated by the Russian occupation administration in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and parts of Donbas.
The forced displacement of such a high number of people created significant demands on the national government, the local authorities and communities to accommodate multiple needs of the IDPs, including social housing, employment, integration in their new places of residence. We wish to express our high appreciation of the partnership established between Ukraine and both UNHCR and IOM in addressing the significant challenges of forced displacement of people in my country. It will remain important to maintain strong engagement of the international community to help cope with these complex problems.
Although globally, according to the UNHCR, IDPs constitute almost two thirds nearly 40 mln of all people on the move, respective international mechanisms and strategies on protection and assistance for IDPs remain underdeveloped. We believe that there is a need for a holistic approach and effective response to challenges to protect displaced persons and their human dignity, especially those multiply affected: women, girls, persons with disabilities, indigenous people.
But most significantly, we need to address the root causes of conflict-induced displacement and take decisive steps towards conflict resolution. As a security organization, which is actively involved in conflict settlement efforts in the area of its responsibility, the OSCE and its institutions have to fully use their toolboxes to ensure implementation of OSCE core principles and commitments, which are the bedrock of peace and stability in our region.
With its comprehensive approach to security the OSCE is well-placed to address issues of forced displacement both from a political and from a human rights perspective.
The OSCE participating States adopted several documents, such as Helsinki 1992, Stockholm 1992, Budapest 1994, Lisbon 1996, Istanbul 1999, Bucharest 2001, Maastricht 2003, Sofia 2004, and Ljubljana 2005, where they committed to address the issues of IDPs’ human rights.
This year we also celebrate 20th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement – an essential framework for the OSCE and participating States in addressing the needs of IDPs.
In this regards, we encourage the Italian Chairmanship to convene a conference to analyze the status of implementation of the respective OSCE commitments and guarantees of existing international human rights and humanitarian law relevant to IDPs – 3 million citizens of participating States.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.