Delivered by Ambassador Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1253rd meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 19 December 2019
The delegation of Ukraine thanks the Chairs of the three Committees for their comprehensive presentations to the Permanent Council and their dedicated work in the course of the year, including on the eve and during the 26th OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava. This was not your fault, Ambassadors, that the participating States failed to reached consensus on any substantial document within the three OSCE dimensions of a comprehensive security. This was the result of the ongoing blatant violations of the OSCE principles and commitments, which continue to undermine security and cooperation in the OSCE region.
In the Security Committee, we appreciate efforts of its Chairperson, Ambassador Luis Cuesta Civis, to reach consensus on the ambitious draft decision on strengthening the OSCE’s role in border security and management. We believe this topic must remain high on our agenda, as it has a very practical dimension and the potential to bring real added value to the OSCE activities. Strengthening border security, including with the use of the OSCE assets, continues to be critical for my country, as the Russian Federation keeps sending illegal supplies of weapons, ammunition and military manpower to the occupied parts of Donbas through the uncontrolled segment of the Ukrainian-Russian state border.
We also value the First Committee as the right venue to address serious threats connected to the cyber security. Multilateral cooperation in this field should further contribute to strengthening resilience of our societies to malicious activities.
We thank Chairperson of the Economic and Environmental Committee Ambassador Kairat Sarybay for his laudable stewardship of the Committee. In the Second Dimension, Ukraine will continue to attach priority to such topical issues as good governance, combating corruption and money laundering, energy security, fostering the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by the participating States, digitalization, environment and security. In the last Ministerial Council, we expressed our support to the draft Declaration on Combating Transnational Organized Crime which Damages the Environment, and would like to see this theme developed further.
Of utmost importance for the delegation of Ukraine remains the issue of environmental implications of armed conflicts: as the ongoing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine continues to bring grave consequences for my country, mitigating its environmental impact, as well as reconstruction of critical civilian infrastructure in Donbas, will remain our primary focus in the Second Committee.
We commend the efforts of the Chair of the Human Dimension Committee, Ambassador Ivo Šrámek, as well as the Slovak Chairmanship for elaboration and further successful implementation of mutually reinforcing human dimension agendas in 2019.
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. It is of the utmost importance to 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 also find effective ways of reacting to the evidences of serious human rights violations in Russia itself, including those identified in the Report under the Moscow Mechanism a year ago.
We encourage the Chair of the Human Dimension Committee, the incoming Albanian Chairmanship and the OSCE institutions to ensure swift and efficient response to gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the situations of occupation. Freedom from state propaganda, eradicating the phenomenon of political prisoners, ensuring right to a fair trial, combating torture and enforced disappearances should receive priority attention in the Committee’s work.
The conflicts across and outside the OSCE region have resulted in massive forced displacement of people from the places of their normal residence. According to the latest figures, about 1.5 million people have registered as IDPs in Ukraine. We should continue efforts in establishing a role that can be played by the OSCE in complementing the efforts of other international actors in this area.
Let me conclude by wishing every success to the three Chairs of the Committees in their future endeavours.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.