Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 15 December 2016
The Delegation of Ukraine has aligned itself with the statement of the European Union which we fully support. We would also like to add some remarks in the national capacity.
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko addressed the Ukrainian nation. He emphasized, in particular, that human and civil rights belong to the most important values in Ukraine. Their protection and promotion will always remain an unconditional priority of the Ukrainian authorities. Last year marked the adoption of the National Human Rights Strategy which was elaborated in intensive consultations between the Government, academia, the parliamentary ombudsperson, representatives of civil society and international organizations. Currently the Government of Ukraine undertakes consistent efforts to effectively put into practice the Action Plan on implementation of the Strategy, pursuing an inclusive and democratic process with active engagement of all segments of the Ukrainian society. The President of Ukraine thanked the national human rights organizations for performing a permanent civil monitoring of implementation of this important document.
At the same time the President of Ukraine stressed that the challenges of protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms are particularly acute for Ukraine in the circumstances of ongoing Russia’s aggression against the country. We are grateful to the international community for unequivocal condemnation of violation of human rights, discrimination and repressive practices by the Russian occupying authorities targeting the residents of the illegally annexed Crimea, including Crimean Tartars, Ukrainians and individuals belonging to different ethnic and religious groups. We are grateful for support of Ukraine in urging the Russian Federation to immediately release the Ukrainian citizens who are held as hostages in captivity on the occupied territories of Ukraine and in Russian prisons.
It is important to maintain firmness and solidarity in speaking loud about gross human rights violations perpetrated in the situations of occupation and urging their correction, including through establishment of permanent human rights monitoring on the ground. The OSCE has developed a solid acquis of commitments relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms and we encourage further focused efforts of the Chairmanship and the autonomous OSCE Institutions in fostering their full implementation and making sure that there are no “human rights grey zones” in the OSCE space.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.