Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1165th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 23 November 2017
The delegation of Ukraine welcomes the Update by the OSCE Secretary General on OSCE migration-related activities as well as Report by the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration, Mr. Filippo Lombardi that were presented today to the Permanent Council.
The International Organization of Migration defines a migrant as any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence.
According to UNHCR, among 10 million persons of its concern within the OSCE area - more than a quarter or 2.8 million are internally displaced persons. In Ukraine about 1.6 million of people have been registered as IDPs (nearly 4% of population of the country). The forced displacement of such a high number of people within a short period of time due to external aggression against my country has created significant demands on the national government, the local authorities and communities to accommodate the needs of the IDPs.
The OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine and the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine contribute to assisting my Government in its large-scale efforts to help the affected citizens of Ukraine. Their work is also worth noting in the Update, presented by the Secretary General.
The report of the OSCE PA Ad Hoc Committee on Migration contains numerous interesting ideas on addressing the challenges of migration. It is important that the Report highlights the OSCE commitments relevant to the topic, thus reminding the participating States of the solid basis of OSCE norms which have been developed over many years.
In the UNHCR data of 67.7 mln people displaced at the end of 2016, 36.6 mln or 54% constituted internally displaced persons. Against this background we do not regard as convincing the motivation to move the problem of IDPs, seriously affecting a number of OSCE participating States, beyond the scope of the presented Report on the conducted work. It is necessary, in our view, to maintain a holistic approach to dealing with the challenges of migration.
We consider a number of recommendations made in relation to migration and refugee flows to be as relevant in dealing with the challenges of IDPs, in particular concerning solidarity and enhancing the role of the OSCE.
While acknowledging the leading role of the UNHCR, the IOM, the ICRC and other international bodies in addressing migration crisis, we should seek a recognizable complimentary and supporting role of the OSCE. In this connection it is important to make sure that duplication and overlap are avoided in this major international endeavour, while the OSCE would be able to provide real added-value through efficient and focused use of its human and financial resources.
In this regard, we should enhance, in particular, the role of the OSCE as a platform for dialogue and exchange of good practices to work out respective international mechanisms and strategies on protection and assistance for IDPs.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.