Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the General Debate of the 16th Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the General Debate of the 16th Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute

Mr. President, Excellences,

The Delegation of Ukraine aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Delegation of the European Union and would like to make a statement in its national capacity.

At the outset, let me express the full support of Ukraine of the activities of International Criminal Court, which proved its efficiency by promoting the rule of law and putting an end to impunity for the perpetrators of most serious crimes.

We carefully studied ICC Report on Preliminary examination activities in 2017 relating to Ukraine and appreciate the work done by the Office of the Prosecutor with regard to assessment of the situation related to the “Revolution of Dignity” lasting from November 21, 2013 to February 18, 2014 and the situation caused by armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine started on February 20, 2014.

The report referred to additional information pointing to direct military engagement between the respective armed forces of the Russian Federation and Ukraine and suggesting the existence of an international armed conflict.

The report in particular specified the alleged disappearances and killings, ill-treatment, forced conscription of Ukrainian citizens to serve in the armed forces of the Russian Federation, deprivation of the rights of fair and regular trial, transfer of part of the population of the Russian Federation into Crimea and of part of the population of Crimea to the territory of the Russian Federation, seizure of property, harassment of Crimean Tatar population.

The Office referring to the OHCHR reports has recorded more than 1,200 incidents involving crimes allegedly committed since 20 February 2014 in eastern Ukraine. In the course of these incidents more than 10, 000 people have been killed and around 25, 000 injured, including members of the armed forces and armed groups and civilians. Between April 2014 and August 2017, at least 2,505 civilians were allegedly killed in armed hostilities. A further 298 civilians, including 80 children, were killed in the downing of the civilian aircraft flight MH17 on 17 July 2014.

We are going to strengthen our cooperation with the ICC and provide the Office of the Prosecutor with additional information, facts and evidence related both to the nature of existing armed conflict in Ukraine as international armed conflict caused by armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine as well as to numerous war crimes committed by the aggressor-state armed forces and its occupation authorities in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.

Mr. President,

Ukraine is not yet a State Party to the Rome Statute. However, the two articles 12 (3) declarations lodged by the Government of Ukraine on April 17, 2014 and September 8, 2015 are the best proof of positive attitude of my country toward the ICC.

The Ukrainian government is trying to do its best to remove legal obstacles preventing Ukraine’s ratification of the Rome Statute. At the same time relevant state authorities are actively involved in preparation of legislation aimed at implementing the Statute.

To conclude, we welcome the ratification of the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression by 34 State-Parties and hope that this Assembly will adopt the decision on their activation.

Thank you for your attention.