Delivered by Mr. Ihor Lossovskyi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1216th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 7 February 2019
We warmly welcome the distinguished Ambassadors of Kazakhstan and of the Czech Republic, respectively Chairs of the Economic and Environmental Committee and of the Human Dimension Committee, and thank them for their presentations.
Good governance, combating corruption and money laundering, energy security, fostering the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by the participating States, environmental implications of armed conflicts remain Ukraine’s priorities in the Second Dimension.
Within our primary focus in the OSCE fora are the issues of addressing the grave consequences of the ongoing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, reconstruction of infrastructure, mitigating the environmental impact and consequences of the conflict in Donbas.
OSCE activities in the economic and environmental dimension have an important role to play for the advancement of the OSCE comprehensive approach to security. In this regard we appreciate the OSCE Co-ordinator’s of Economic and Environmental Activities thematic focus on environment and security, environmental issues in the conflict zones in particular, and the intention to explore possibilities for joint action, including with the OSCE field presences. We see a clear need for setting up a comprehensive and effective system of ecological monitoring in the non-government-controlled areas of Donbas region of Ukraine in compliance with the OSCE concept of comprehensive and indivisible security.
We support introduction of innovative approaches into the OSCE’s work. In this regard we welcome the commitment of the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship to concentrate further on modern aspects of security accentuated by digital transformations. We should assess possible added value of the OSCE.
The exchanges of national experiences during the 1st preparatory meeting of this year’s OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum attested to the high relevance of using the benefits of digitalization for exploring innovative tools for promoting good governance, eradicating corruption, enhancing resilience of energy, transport and financial infrastructure.
Our exchanges within the Second Dimension should forge the vision of how the OSCE could best contribute to seizing the opportunities and addressing the challenges posed by digitalization of economy and other modern challenges on the regional and global scale.
As our Organization places respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms at the core of its comprehensive approach to security, protection of human rights in the situations of occupation remains a key challenge. We must not allow the existence of human rights “grey zones” in the OSCE area where millions of our citizens live.
We should continue to seek practical ways to address multiple and grave human rights abuses by the Russian occupying authorities in Crimea and in parts of Donbas.
We should find effective ways of reacting to the evidence of serious human rights violations in Russia itself.
We encourage the Chair of the Human Dimension Committee and the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship to provide every support to the OSCE Institutions and mechanisms in monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in the occupied territories and in responding to gross violations of human rights law.
Freedom from state propaganda, eradicating the phenomenon of political prisoners, ensuring the right to a fair trial, combating torture and enforced disappearances should receive priority attention in the Human Dimension Committee’s work.
While recognizing a fundamental link between security and respect for national minorities’ rights in our countries, we should be aware of potential dangers associated with excessive politicization of minority issues in inter-State relations.
The discussions at the Milan Ministerial meeting on migration highlighted the need to address the rights of internally displaced persons. The set of the OSCE commitments on this group of migrants must be taken from oblivion and analyzed thoroughly.
It is essential that we take it up promptly and consider OSCE’s role in complementing the efforts of other international actors in dealing with this challenge.
In conclusion we once again thank the Chairs of the committees for their presentations and wish them success in pursuit of objectives of co-operation, ensuring respect for OSCE principles and commitments, human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.