Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Sixth Committee of the UNGA on the rule of law at the national and international levels

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Sixth Committee of the UNGA on the rule of law at the national and international levels

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to begin my national statement by aligning with the statement by the Delegation of the European Union.

Ukraine is convinced that preserving the rule of law at both the national and international levels is a precondition for sustainable development, protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as for maintenance of international peace and security.

We welcome the report of the Secretary-General of 20 July 2016 on strengthening and coordinating United Nations rule of law activities. This report contains useful information on United Nations efforts in supporting national implementation of multilateral treaties and facilitating access to justice for all, with special emphasis on the poorest and most vulnerable, including women, migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons. We commend the work of the United Nations aimed at providing legal aid, protection, redress and accountability for serious crimes and violations.

We share the Secretary-General’s view that the peaceful settlement of international disputes and ensuring accountability for international crimes are key elements in promoting the rule of law.

Mr. Chairman,

Ukraine remains committed to the peaceful settlement of international disputes regardless of the fact that the Russian Federation continues to concentrate its weaponry, armaments and military forces on the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas region.

Over the past two years, Ukraine permanently urged the aggressor state to accept its international legal responsibility and demanded the termination of its wrongful acts. In this context, Ukraine drew the Russia’s attention to the numerous facts of aggression and proposed to resolve any existing disputes at the International Court of Justice or by an ad hoc arbitration. During respective bilateral consultations, we received unsubstantiated denials of these facts and refusals to recognize the existence of a dispute and responsibility. Ukraine has also brought to the attention of the Russian Federation numerous cases of violations of international humanitarian law and breaches of its obligations as an Occupying Power.

This September, Ukraine officially served the Russian Federation with a notification of arbitration and statement of claim instituting ad hoc arbitral proceedings under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) to vindicate its rights as the coastal state in maritime zones adjacent to Crimea in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait.

Mr. Chairman,

In the light of the current challenging situation in Ukraine, we fully recognize the necessity of ensuring the global jurisdiction and support for the International Criminal Court. Ukraine strictly adheres to the principles of democracy, good governance, justice and the rule of law and, therefore, strongly backs the activities of the Court in an effort to ensure a universal commitment to fight against impunity.

Ukraine has a history of accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC in accordance with Article 12 (3) of its Statute: over crimes against humanity committed against the civilian population during the Revolution of Dignity and over crimes against humanity and war crimes perpetrated since the beginning of the military aggression against my country.

In June this year, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine on justice which received a positive opinion from the Venice Commission and met the recommendations of the Council of Europe regarding the independence and accountability of judges, as well as the principles of operation of the prosecutor’s office. The constitutional amendments also include the amendment providing for the possibility for Ukraine to ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC.

We believe that Ukraine’s membership in the ICC would be one of the best ways to ensure that perpetrators of international crimes are brought to justice, that mass human rights violations are recognized as such, and that victims receive redress for their suffering.

This example clearly proves commitments of Ukraine to continue strengthening the rule of law at the national level. Besides the historic constitutional reform, we have managed to implement anti-corruption, decentralization, public procurement and justice reforms that produced tangible results in many areas of life of the country. The respective progress has been positively recognized by the international community.

Mr. Chairman,

To conclude, my delegation would like once again to recall the commitment to the universal adherence and full implementation of the rule of law by all states. We are convinced that respect for the rule of law creates an enabling environment for achieving the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.

Ukraine believes that unless the UN Charter and other international treaties are respected, there will be neither peace nor security in the world.

Thank you.