Delivered by Yevheniia Filipenko, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1185th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 10 May 2018
In 2014, the Ukrainian people clearly reaffirmed their choice to belong to the European family, with which we share a common history, culture and a long-standing partnership. We are not just a European state, but a European state which has been paying the highest price for its legitimate aspirations.
The origin of the European Union rests on the lessons of the Second World War, the most devastating war in human history, which left deep scars in Europe’s collective memory, including in Ukraine.
On 8 and 9 May, Ukraine marks the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation and the Victory Day over Nazism in the Second World War. The territory of modern Ukraine saw the most fierce battles, over seven million Ukrainian soldiers have fought against Nazism in seven armies, every 6th Ukrainian has lost its life in that deadly war.
In paying tribute to millions of people who perished in the Second World War, we should remember the causes, overcome the legacies and learn lessons from that tragic past.
By founding the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the European Union the international community has undertaken the commitment to promote peace and security, development and human rights as an indispensable prerequisite as well as an overarching goal for making war on our continent impossible.
Unfortunately, today we are facing unprecedented violation of international law and order. For the first time in Europe since World War II, Russia attempted annexation of a part of the territory of a neighbouring state, perpetrates persecution and oppression in illegally occupied territories and continues to wage war against a sovereign state.
The example of those who fought for liberty and peace in Europe should inspire us to stand up against violators of our shared principles and commitments and take every effort to prevent the erosion of the foundations of European peace and security.
We should work together to build on the progress made since the end of the Second World War in promoting democratic values, human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We should take the responsibility for strengthening and defending the international order and take decisive steps towards making the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace a reality.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.