Delivered by Ambassador Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1244th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 17 October 2019.
The delegation of Ukraine joins previous speakers in welcoming ODIHR’s Director I.S.Gísladóttir to the Permanent Council. We thank her for the report on the 2019 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw.
I also wish to reiterate our gratitude to the Slovak Chairmanship and the ODIHR for the conduct of the most important OSCE review conference in the human dimension on the implementation by all participating States of the undertaken commitments.
We thank again our Polish friends for their traditionally warm hospitality.
Ukraine takes the annual HDIM very seriously as one of the most important event on human rights, democracy, rule of law and tolerance enshrined in the OSCE commitments.
The aim of Ukraine’s high-level participation in the HDIM is to take part in a genuine and open dialogue involving governments and civil society, based on the OSCE principles and commitments to which all 57 participating States adhered to, and address the most glaring threats to human rights and fundamental freedoms in the OSCE region.
What we have seen in Warsaw this year, to our sincere disappointment, was another kind of meeting.
I encourage you to give yourself honest answer to simple questions:
- the participation of entities affiliated to the occupation power, the conduct of side-events by occupation power and their insolent denial of and advocacy for the blatant human rights violations at the official OSCE event - does all of this correspond to the notion of genuine dialogue and human rights forum based on the OSCE principles and commitments?
- does freedom of expression is about providing official international platform for those who represent the perpetrator of international law, who call for violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and who justify the most serious human rights violations in the OSCE region for the past decades?
- finally, does general disclaimer on the so-called self-registration and non-endorsement of the names or status of participants, de facto consenting the participation at HDIM of the above-mentioned organizations and individuals, is indeed without prejudice to OSCE decisions and commitments?
For the delegation of Ukraine, the answers to all of the above questions are strictly negative.
We assess as critical the current situation with the human dimension events, eroded by the dilution of the modalities of conduct and their discrepancy with the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act.
The OSCE has before it two options.
First option is to address the problem we all face by defending with dignity and in good faith the respect for the founding OSCE principles and commitments. It will bring us to strengthening the HDIM and its benefit for the broader international human rights agenda based on norms and standards.
Second option is to continue closing eyes on the deepening worrying tendency and it will certainly bring us one day to a hybrid HDIM watered down into a parallel reality, which has nothing to do with international human rights standards, instead of genuine human rights forum.
We call on the incoming Albanian Chairmanship and the ODHIR to take seriously the issue of ensuring strict adherence to the OSCE commitments during the organization and conduct of the human dimension events and elaborate concrete proposals to remedy to this dangerous trend.
The delegation of Ukraine is ready to contribute to this endeavor and, based on its outcomes, will carefully look at the issue of the level of Ukraine’s representation in the run-up to the next HDIM.
In the Opening Statement at the 2019 HDIM in Warsaw the delegation of Ukraine drew attention to the fact that today’s Europe is saturated with various human rights events, but some of them, unfortunately, have no or too little traction with the realities on the ground.
So let me conclude by the call not to turn the OSCE HDIM into one of them!
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.