Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Kyiv 19:06

Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergiy Kyslytsya on the UN Human Rights Council

20 June 2018, 18:12

Ukraine was directly and actively involved in the creation of the UN Human Rights Council in 2006 and from the beginning was its member for two consecutive terms in 2006 - 2008 and 2008-2011. This year, our country once again became a member of this subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly.

An ineffectiveness and excessive politicization of the work of its predecessor the UN Commission on Human Rights has been an impetus for the creation of the HRC. The newly formed Council was anticipated to have high expectations, it was seemed that this structure would be able to effectively monitor the implementation of universal standards in the field of human rights, as well as, promote compliance with these standards in member states. 

It was Ukraine that initiated the introduction of an element of prevention into the work of the UN Human Rights Council with the adoption of a number of resolutions of the HRC «The Role of prevention in the promotion and protection of human rights». Our country initiated, worked out and developed this subject long before the beginning of military aggression of the Russian Federation against our state.

Unfortunately, we have to admit that today the UN Human Rights Council is in a difficult situation, if not in a crisis.
We understand the position of the United States of America and their concern about the effectiveness of the HRC. The US decision on early termination of its membership in the Council was not a surprise. More than a year ago at one of the meetings of the UN Security Council, the United States declared about negative trends in the work of the UN on the protection of human rights.

Ukraine has repeatedly stated, as well as, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, that we share the view of the importance of incorporating the human rights component in all areas of the Organization's work. There is a direct link between human rights and world’s security in a broad sense. Thus, it cannot but cause anxiety about the actual removal of human rights issues from the UN in New York - both in an ideological and physical sense. After all, such separation move human rights from practical to academic level and threatens the marginalization of the very concept of human rights.

In 2018, Ukraine became a member of the UN Human Rights Council, and in our understanding and objective assessment of the existing problems and shortcomings in its work, we intend to work on reforming the Council. Of course, for our state, the HRC will also remain another platform to protect the rights of Ukrainians who suffer from criminal acts of the Russian Federation, as a result, of its aggression against our country and the occupation of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The UN Human Rights Council will further remain a key subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly and its Third Committee, and, consequently, we will evaluate its work through its ability to implement of UNGA Resolutions 71/205 and 72/190 on situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

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