On 16 July 2020 First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Chairperson of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO Emine Dzhaparova chaired a meeting of the heads of sectors of the Commission held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
Participants of the meeting reviewed the current state of Ukraine’s cooperation with UNESCO, in particular in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the priorities of the Commission's activities and ways to increase its effectiveness in light of today’s challenges. The need to reform the National Commission to reinvigorate its work was unanimously supported.
Emine Dzhaparova stressed that under the conditions of the illegal occupation by Russia of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the main priority of Ukraine in UNESCO is to use every opportunity to raise awareness of the international community regarding the acute problems in the temporarily occupied peninsula.
To this end, it is important to regularly inform UNESCO about the destructive actions of the Russian occupation authorities in the temporarily occupied Crimea, which threaten the preservation of the universal cultural and historical value of Ukrainian cultural heritage sites, the illegal archaeological excavations, violations of educational and cultural rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, an impediment to the free dissemination of information, persecution of journalists etc.
The Chairperson of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO confirmed the readiness of the Ukrainian side to actively cooperate with the Organization in effective monitoring of the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea in all UNESCO’s fields of competence.
Participants of the meeting also discussed the preparatory activities for Ukraine's election to one of the main UNESCO governing bodies – the Executive Board for the period 2021-2025, to be held during the 41st session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2021.