Delivered by Mr. Ihor Lossovskyi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1196th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 4 October 2018
The delegation of Ukraine joins previous speakers in warmly welcoming ODIHR Director I.S.Gísladóttir at the Permanent Council. We thank her for the report on the 2018 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw.
We express our gratitude to the ODIHR for organization of the Meeting. Ukraine also thanks the Polish authorities for their hospitality and efforts as a host country in facilitating the organization of the annual human dimension implementation meeting.
My country continues to view the HDIM as the main instrument for the effective monitoring of compliance by all participating States with the human dimension commitments, including through the unique involvement of civil society. The significance attached by Ukraine to the Meeting was demonstrated by a high level of representation from the capital.
The discussions at the working sessions and side events proved again that the most blatant violations of human rights in the OSCE area take place in the situations of foreign occupation, resulting from Russia’s ongoing military aggression against Ukraine and violation of the OSCE fundamental principles and commitments
Numerous eye-witness accounts and NGO presentations testified that the residents of Crimea under the Russian illegal occupation experience drastic deterioration of the human rights situation, marked by abductions, torture and enforced disappearances, repression of dissenting voices, targeting mainly Crimean Tatar community and pro-Ukrainian activists.
A call of desperation to the Russian delegation from the father of disappeared Ervin Ibragimov or the emotional testimony of Aliye Bekirova whose son and husband are illegally persecuted by Russia’s occupation authorities in Crimea were a live proof of the sufferings of the Crimean population under foreign occupation. Attempts to construct the parallel reality by dozens of GoNGOs controlled by the Kremlin regime were futile against the backdrop of numerous and undeniable facts.
We once again emphasize that all responsibility for human rights violations in the temporary occupied regions of Ukraine and for the failure to stop them rests with Russia.
We expect the OSCE Institutions to use all available instruments to monitor and react to the developments in the occupied Crimea and parts of Donbas.
Rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Russia was also part of debate at the HDIM. However, this year there were very few free voices from this country. Obviously, they were intimidated and silenced by the restrictive legislation, censorship in the media and internet, restrictions on freedom of assembly, association and expression, violation of rights of national and sexual minorities and religious communities. This is also a sign of Russia’s further departure from its obligations in the area of protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We regret that the Russian Federation once again failed to seize the opportunities offered by HDIM to commit to correcting the violations of fundamental OSCE principles and commitments. Instead, Russia resorted to propaganda and unfounded accusations aimed at shifting its responsibility on others.
We regret that a genuine and open dialogue during HDIM was seriously undermined by Russian delegation’s determination to challenge the OSCE principles and commitments and to construct a parallel reality, employing GoNGOs from many participating States.
We strongly denounce Russia’s attempts to use the OSCE events for creeping legitimization of illegal occupation of parts of Ukraine’s territory.
We note that this year an individual, who acted to undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and was placed on the “List of persons and entities under EU restrictive measures over the territorial integrity of Ukraine”, was registered for the HDIM under the disguise of an NGO.
For us it is obvious that it is only through cheating that such individuals can materialize at the OSCE meetings, taking into account ODIHR’s position reaffirming the legal status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine.
We also noted the attempts to involve in the discussion entities that propagate violation of the Helsinki Decalogue. Their intentions need to be barred from the stage of registration, because these meetings are about enhancing implementation not diluting it.
Ukrainian delegation would expect from the incoming Slovak OSCE Chairmanship and the ODIHR to strictly adhere to the OSCE principles and commitments, and take effective measures to counter fraudulent participation and prevent the recurrence of such manipulations.
In conclusion let me reiterate Ukraine’s dedication to undertaken OSCE human dimension commitments, as well as our support for ODIHR’s mandate.
Looking ahead to the Milan Ministerial Council meeting in December 2018, Ukraine is interested to work for deliverables in the human dimension, which can make a real improvement, including in the situations of foreign occupation.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.